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3thaca, Sfttn Mark 





CLASS OF 1876 

Cornell University Library 
R 722.P13 

The claim of suffering a plea for medic 

3 1924 024 018 628 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



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(Sffoeig for the $rxrpagaiicm at ih* <&oavd in Jforrign fJari* 



The present volume, although issued by a missionary 
society, does not deal merely with the work of one 
particular society, but with the whole subject of the 
Christian Missions which are being carried on through- 
out the world. We believe that its perusal will accen- 
tuate the interest of those who are already familiar 
with the noble work which is being done by medical 
missionaries in response to the " claim of suffering " 
in non-Christian lands, and in the case of others will 
create a desire to help forward this work by every 
means within their power. There is no other branch 
of Christian work of which it can more confidently be 
affirmed that it only needs to be known to be sup- 
ported with enthusiasm. We are exceedingly grateful, 
and the readers of this volume will share our gratitude, 
to its author who, amidst the distractions of a particu- 
larly busy life, has made time to write. The gratitude 
of our readers is also due to the Rev. E. H. Mosse, 
the Chairman of the S.P.G. Medical Missions Com- 
mittee, and to Miss Mosse for help in collecting 
materials and in correcting the proofs of the book. 


S.P.G. House, 

November, 1912. 



I. Evil spirits and medicine men i 

II. Quacks and cures 17 

III. The weak and helpless 32 

IV. Surmounting difficulties 44 

V. The dawn of hope 59 

VI. The care of public health 72 

VII. Teaching and training 87 

VIII. Some s.p.g. hospitals 96 

IX. An appeal iog 

Appendix 117 

Index 123 


Mohammedan patient with her mother and baby, 

Ramnad Frontispiece 

to face page 
St. Martin's Hospital, Ramnad i 

Hospital and school at Banting 8 

Out-patients, St. Luke's Hospital, Nazareth ... 24 

Doctor, nurse and patient in operating room, St. 

Catherine's Hospital, Cawnpore 24 

In-patients and staff, Ranchi Hospital .... 30 

St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi 38 

Evangelist preaching to out-patients, Ranchi Dispensary 48 

Patients awaiting treatment, Ranchi Dispensary . . 48 

The main entrance, St. Agatha's Hospital, Ping Yin . 52 

Village group of patients waiting to be seen, Ping Yin 52 
Little girl patients leaving hospital, their grandfather 

standing on left, St. Catherine's, Cawnpore . . 56 
Group at front door, Malacca Medical Mission. Dr. 

Staley and three assistants behind, four patients 


Lepers having feet dressed at Jercherla. Dispensary 

hut in background 60 

Dispensary tent, Karnal District 60 

Mission Hospital, Rawal Pindi. Contractor and head 
workman of church standing in front ... 64 

Mohammedan convert and her little son, St. Catherine's, 

Cawnpore 64 



7 o 



to face page 
St. Luke's Hospital, Chemulpo (with Corean houses in 

the foreground). main hospital building on the 

left, women's ward on the right . . . . 68 
Corfe Ward, St. Luke's Hospital, Chemulpo 
Village women waiting for medicine . 
In the consulting room, Rewari Hospital 
St. Catherine's Hospital, Cawnpore . 
Taking a patient to the plague hospital, Harbin, N. 

China 80 

A corner in the plague hospital, Harbin, N. China . 80 
Dispensary at St. Aidan's Mission House, Durban, S. 

Africa 84 

Consulting room, Karnal. Dr. Scott, out-patients and 

nurses 92 

Biblewoman teaching patients waiting to see the doctor, 

Karnal 92 

St. Lucy's Hospital, St. Cuthbert's, Tsolo ... 98 
Bullock cart with patients leaving hospital compound, 

Karnal 102 

Dispensary and compounder, Karnal 102 

Dr. Laws and in-patients, Chin-Chun Hospital . . 106 
In the Anne Vaudrey Ward, St. Agatha's Hospital, 

Ping Yin, N. China 110 

St. Agatha's Hospital, Ping Yin. Three nurse proba- 
tioners no 

Nurses and patients on the site of the new Nurses' 

Home, St. Stephen's, Delhi, ign 114 

Interior of ward, St. Luke's Hospital, Nazareth, S. 

India n8 

St. Luke's Hospital, Nazareth 118 

The first hospital at St. Barnabas Mission, Mlengana, 

Pondoland West I22 

The back of Etalaneni Hospital, Zululand. Group of 

house girls and convalescent children . . . 122 


MISSIONS ! Here indeed is a wide term, though it often 
receives but a narrow interpretation. What do we 
really mean by "Missions"? To some it is almost 
the first clause in a creed, if we may use the word, 
which begins with " I don't believe ". " I don't believe 
in missions " people say with a fine sweeping general- 
ization, and they are eager to back this assertion by 
an appeal to those who have been abroad whether as 
travellers or residents. It is clear to such people that 
missions do a great deal of harm, that they involve 
our representatives abroad and our ministers at home 
in international difficulties of no mean importance, 
besides spoiling the natives and unfitting them for 
work. But here, as a rule, the critics part company, 
for while some declare that missions render the native 
insubordinate and independent, others urge that they 
keep him in dependence for the capitalist to exploit. 

If we really wish to understand what effect mission- 
ary work has upon the natives we must study the 
various methods of work, the conditions of the country 
and people before the missionary came, what he 
claims to have brought them and what the after-effect 
has been. For when we talk of " Missions " we infer 

(2M(2)0.I932I) I 


a great variety of methods ; many means, in fact, to 
attain the same end, a diversity of operations but the 
same spirit. There is the evangelistic and pastoral 
work of preaching and shepherding, including all that 
we mean when we speak of direct conversion. This 
must be judged by its fruits, which should be visible in 
the diminution of slavery and cruelty and in the higher 
ideals of womanhood and marriage wherever the Faith 
of Christ is established. There should be a turning 
from the rough principles of force to the principles of 
justice and of love, and this should include the care of 
the weak, of slaves, of widows and children. The 
study of missions goes far to prove that this change 
has in fact been made, that new and spiritual ideas 
have been implanted ; we have seen a cathedral raised 
on the site of a slave market, and have heard God's 
praises sung where once murder and tyranny reigned 
supreme. This is openly acknowledged in the Report 
of a Royal Commission where it is stated that the 
hope for the elevation of the African native races must 
depend mainly on their acceptance of Christian faith 
and morals. 

But the word "Missions" includes educational as 
well as pastoral work, the missionary who is pledged 
to liberate the soul is also pledged to set free the 
mind and to take pains that it be formed, trained, de- 
veloped and controlled. Boys' schools, girls' schools, 
industrial schools, training and special schools, univer- 
sity work and university hostels are thus called into 
existence by these true descendants of the holy men and 
women of old who gave to us in England and to the 


glory of God our universities and the foundations of our 
primary and secondary education. In many cases it 
is the missionary who has first given to the people a 
written language and who has brought to them the 
delight and companionship of books. 

Again, this comprehensive word " Missions " carries 
us to a further method, that of medical work. We 
know well enough that there is laid upon us the care 
of soul, of mind, and of body — Brother Body as St. 
Francis called it, and the care of the body is an in- 
dispensable part of missionary enterprise. And when 
the missionaries claim that they have been able to re- 
lieve the suffering, to heal the sick, and to reduce the 
extent and the terror of sickness, so far as their narrow 
means in men and money have allowed, it is com- 
paratively easy to gather evidence and to judge if, 
after all, their claim be a just one. They have inter- 
posed — the critics of missions speak of " unwarrantable 
interference " — and we have to inquire whether there 
is any justification for such an interference ; whether 
in this special work of healing the sick in obedience 
to their Lord's command there has been any improve- 
ment in the conditions of those to whom they minister, 
or whether the natives were really happier when " left 
to themselves " before the missionary came. So we 
turn, for a moment, from the thought of our God who 
is love and who is supreme over all His works, to the 
" gods many and lords many " who are acknow- 
ledged by the non-Christian people, and we ask what 
answer has been made by those who believe in them 
to the bitter cry of pain and suffering and disease. 


Our first thought in turning to the primitive races of 
mankind is of a people baffled and defeated by the 
overpowering forces of nature. The overgrown tracks 
beset with perils which lead uncertainly through the 
entanglements of bush, jungle and forest, may be taken 
as an illustration of the native's haunted, hunted pass- 
age through a world of which he knows little and fears 
much. The narrow footway affords no distant vision, 
it is bounded on either hand by a tangle that no one 
seeks to penetrate, and it is marked by the menacing 
signs of wild beasts or with the war marks of opposing 
tribes. For such a people, living in and accepting 
such conditions, there is no thought or hope of order 
in the uneasy universe ; creation is at once un- 
intelligible and unintelligent, and this disorder is due 
to "innumerable agents whose conduct can neither 
be anticipated nor understood and who must be cir- 
cumvented by bribery and cunning and expiation". 
The whole external world is thus invested with human 
personalities and human passions, and since the 
external world, as known to a savage, is often enough 
overwhelmed by calamity, he imagines that these 
personalities are for the most part hostile to him. 

In Africa " loyalty to tradition left by the ances- 
tors and now jealously kept is the true practice of 
religion," and the African recognizing no true order in 
the universe has laid hold of custom as something that 
has been sanctified by use and thus, in some sense, 
represents a law on which he can reckon. Anything 
contrary to custom is accounted witchcraft. His 
worship is tribe worship and the vague being that stands 


for God, Unkulunkulu, is in reality only the Tribe 
Ancestry, while the immediate ancestors the Amatongo 
are the dispensers of disease and death as well as of 
prosperity and success. In some parts of Africa little 
spirit houses are built near the other huts ; they are 
not more than 8 to 1 2 in. high and there offerings are 
made to appease the departed spirits of a father or 
grandfather so that he may not return to plague his 
relations. For this reason on the death of an import- 
ant member of the tribe, slaves were frequently 
sacrificed so that they might accompany the spirit into 
the other world, there to serve him and wait upon him 
so that he should be kept quiet and contented. The 
grave of a chief's mother was shown to a traveller 
not long since in East Africa, where over a thousand 
slaves had been killed, for the woman had been much 
respected in the tribe, and all the villages round had 
contributed slaves for sacrifice at her death. " Do 
not remember to take care of us," the people say 
anxiously at a burial, for none can guess in what 
mood the spirit will return even though they endeavour 
to meet his insatiable appetite with their offerings of 
cakes and beer that are placed upon the grave. Again, 
among the wild tribes of British Malaya the spirits 
that inhabit nature or natural phenomena are held 
accountable for the visitations of smallpox, fever, 
and every other imaginable ill. " There are horrible 
creatures who shoot the arrows of disease into the 
careless passer-by, birds whose prey is the health of 
human life, ghosts who live on trees and pounce on 
anyone who passes underneath, and ghosts who live 


in the rivers to drag down the swimmers." In Borneo 
all suffering is attributed to malignant demons, and 
once during an outbreak of cholera 500 natives went 
down the river in their boats in order to entice the 
spirit of cholera to follow them out to sea. " Here 
sickness," they shouted, "come along and we will 
give you pork and dog's flesh." 

But it is not only among primitive races that such 
animism is found, even the great Eastern systems of 
philosophy have been powerless to clear away this 
tangled undergrowth of belief. Hinduism shelters no 
less than three million gods who are for the most part 
village deities intended to keep at bay the evil spirits, 
but who, being themselves liable to fits of bad temper, 
must be cautiously and regularly propitiated lest they 
inflict the very evils they are supposed to avert. 
In Chota Nagpur every pagan household has a 
" home demon " or bh&t who lives in an earthen pot, 
or in a peg driven into the floor, or in a hollow 
bamboo. In Burma, notwithstanding its claim to 
Buddhism, shrines may be constantly found to the 
Nats or evil spirits. Outside the village of Nyoung- 
Lu-Pin there was a great peopul tree inhabited by a 
Nat named Myin-Pyoo-Yin, nobody might pass the 
tree without taking off his sandals, nor break a twig 
from the tree on pain of death. And Dr. Copleston, 
the Metropolitan of India, has told us that the Bud- 
dhists in Ceylon " people every wood with demons, go 
to Hinduism for the personal guardians of house and 
crop and the personal wielders of luck and pestilence, 
and go to the basest sorcery for the personal agents of 


malice and ill will ". The common people of Western 
India also believe that cholera is a punishment sent 
to men by an evil goddess who is called Murree 
Ali or Cholera Mother, and they fancy that any 
attempt to take medicine excites her more, and 
that the proper way to get rid of her is to bribe her 
with offerings to go elsewhere. Small temples are 
built in her honour at the extreme limit of village or 
town so that the goddess may be a little removed from 
the homes of the people. These temples are neglected 
except in times of epidemic when the devotees of 
the goddess and her shrine, who are drawn from the 
lowest caste, are brought into considerable prominence 
and derive much profit. 

It is much the same in China. There the Feng- 
Shui or science of wind and water determines by its 
mystical principles the lucky sites and lucky days, 
for all are under the influence of local genii. Thus 
an ancient book of charms contains a list of good and 
evil days as well as describing the various methods 
for the treatment of sick children. The day and 
hour when the child first fell ill must be noted, and 
then if there is a corresponding day and hour in the 
book of charms the remedy will be found, and also 
the name of the evil spirit which has caused the 
sickness. It is no wonder that Mrs. Isabella Bishop 
asserted that demonism is the force that really under- 
lies all Asiatic religions ; they do not ask what is the 
cause of the illness but who is the cause, and spell 
must be met by counter spell and magic by further 


Hence there springs up the race of witch doctors, 
sorcerers, and medicine men, who claim to be mediators 
between the seen and the unseen, who are supposed to 
be able to undo spells, to exorcise demons, and to 
name the terms of reconciliation. And these men 
minister by fear to the sick man at the moment when 
his mind is most helpless and most confused. The 
Ngcira of Africa has been made familiar by many tales 
of mystery and adventure. He makes himself hideous 
with tails and skins and feathers, long chains made of 
the bones and teeth of animals are festooned round his 
neck, and when he comes to visit the sick man and to 
discover the evil that has possessed him, he leaps and 
shouts and waves his magic stick. "Why is this 
woman sick? Because she has a swarm of black 
beetles inside her. He applies intelezi (medicine) and 
asks the people if they do not see the black beetles 
coming out. Or it is a snake that has got inside her 
backbone, or a lizard in her stomach, which must 
be drawn by a cow-dung poultice. He applies the 
poultice and there, sure enough, is the lizard which he 
took care to apply to the face of the poultice before 
he applied it." It would be impossible to estimate 
the number of the victims of the Ngcira's deceit and 
cunning, or to describe the horrors of " smelling out " 
and kindred practices now abolished by the British 

Only a short time ago the native parliament in 
Toro (Eastern Equatorial Africa) condemned the witch 
doctors and declared their trade to be illegal, this 
action being taken on the initiative of the natives 



themselves without Government intervention. Hence- 
forward if a witch doctor is discovered he is to be im- 
prisoned ; and this decree has already resulted in 
several hundred of these men being brought into 
court. When they were examined as to their sup- 
posed intercourse with the spirits some of them 
answered, "Tukabiha abantu kwonka" — "We were 
just deceiving the people " ! 

"In Borneo," writes a missionary, "when some 
one is ill, the village folk use certain drugs which they 
prepare from roots found in the jungle, some for 
internal, some for external use. When all that can 
be taken is taken, and all that can be smeared on the 
body is smeared on, all washing is stopped, and the 
friends of the sick man consult together and decide 
that the witch doctor must be called in. His dress 
is peculiar: he wears a long garment of any colour 
reaching to the ground, and on his head is a curious 
cap decorated with feathers, beads, and bells. In his 
hand he carries his wand of carved bamboo, on which 
fowl's feathers have been tied and fowl's blood has 
been sprinkled, and on his back he has his medicine 
chest or basket. As he approaches the village where 
the sick person lives, his friends beat loudly on gongs 
and drums to frighten away the evil' spirits. He 
mounts the ladder leading to the sick-room and enters 
noisily, sometimes shouting. He places his medicine 
basket by the little palm which is always set up in a 
sick-room in Borneo. Then he proceeds to examine 
the patient and having decided what the illness is he 
returns to his basket and begins to walk slowly round 


it and the palm, singing his incantations. Faster and 
louder he continues until he is racing round the palm 
and singing at the top of his voice. The drums and 
gongs are still being beaten outside (imagine the 
suffering of the patient while all this noise goes on) 
and at last, it may be some hours after, the witch 
doctor falls in a stupor or faint, and a friend covers 
him with a blanket. His spirit is supposed to have 
gone into the spirit world to find and recover the sick 
man's spirit. For a long time he lies there, then there 
is a movement ; he sits up, rubs his eyes as if awaking 
from sleep, and looks as though he does not know 
where he is. Then he approaches the sick man and, 
claiming to hold in his hand the spirit that he has re- 
captured from the nether world, he proceeds to rub it 
into the patient's head." 

Turning to British Malaya we find that there also 
the sorcerer is the greatest power in the community ; 
he is possessed by familiar spirits and he prophesies, 
he can also extract the invisible darts of the demons 
of disease. He is not even buried like a common 
man but he is exposed on a tree or hut so that his 
familiar spirit may tear open his body and release 
his soul to re-enter a tiger. All such witch doctors 
and sorcerers are fully provided with a stock-in- 
trade of amulets and charms. The Ngcira has his 
"intelezi" or spell medicine for every occasion, he 
can use it to anoint the assegais before battle, or to 
cure sickness, to give protection against snakes or cro- 
codiles, or yet again to cause rain or find lost articles. 
Near the Albert Edward Nyanza the witch doctor 


carries a small skin bag with stones inside so that it 
may be rattled to represent the speech of the evil 
spirit concerning the sick man. In India the Hakim 
or medicine man goes forth in much the same way to 
exorcise spirits or to suggest some sacrificial remedy 
with the aid of drums and gongs and innumerable 
amulets and charms. The true aboriginal charm 
usually consists in a piece of some root, a bunch of 
bear's hair tied on to a string that is worn round the 
neck or arm, leaves, human bones, pebbles, quartz, 
and small pieces of skin ; in Chota Nagpur the tooth 
of a donkey that had been killed by a tiger was 
considered unusually potent. Black and white marks 
on a child's forehead are supposed to avert the evil 
eye, and at Hazaribagh an earthen saucer with some 
chalk marks upon it was held closely before the face 
of a young mother, so as to give as little air as possible 
without actual suffocation, in order to hasten the 
birth of her child. Many of the charms or treatments 
employed are intended to give vicarious strength, as 
in the case of a young man who came to consult 
Dr. Aspland of Peking about a big raw wound on his 
arm. At first he would not confess the cause, but 
eventually he was induced to explain that his mother 
had been ill for some months and that as her strength 
was failing he had hacked out a great piece of his own 
flesh which had been stewed to a broth and given to her ; 
it is a fine story of self-sacrifice even if actually it 
could avail nothing. The Hindus and Mohammedans 
alike believe in the value of amulets, which are vended 
by various quacks and which consist in general of some 


words written on a small piece of paper and enclosed 
in metal cases. The late Dr. Pennell (of the C.M.S.) 
in his book " Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan 
Frontier," describes a fakir in Afghanistan who saw 
three or four hundred patients at one sitting. He 
would ask a question as to the nature of the illness and 
then write out a charm ; as each applicant had to pay 5 
pice as a fee the man was probably earning about 50 
rupees or £3 6s. 8d. a day. He entertained Dr. Pennell 
at the rest house that evening and made no secret of 
the fact that he played upon the credulity of the 
people, and when, after dinner, his assistant came 
to say that many people were still clamouring for 
charms, he hastily tore a piece of paper into squares 
and wrote off the required number. 

The jungle dwellers of Chota Nagpur and elsewhere 
sacrifice cocks and other fowls to conciliate the powers 
that send jungle fever and malaria. Dr. Muller, of Delhi, 
was called to attend a poor woman whom she found 
in a moribund condition, quite unconscious and in a 
very high fever. The horns of some animal were put 
at her feet and a cock freshly killed was cut open 
and applied to her head like a cap. Again, in Ram- 
nad, a medicine man was called in to a bad maternity 
case, he began by shaving the girl's head, then a fowl 
was killed and cut open and an incision made in the 
girl's scalp, the fowl was placed over the wound and 
after it had been well soaked in oil was set alight. A 
few hours later the girl died. Such tragedies are the 
more frequent in India as motherhood is supposed to 
be specially under the influence of evil spirits. 


This accounts for the following description by Dr. 
Muller of a maternity case in a Nawab's house at 
Karnal: "I was led through a courtyard, that was 
crowded with weeping women, into a room the door 
of which was heavily screened with thick and very 
dirty curtains. Inside it was quite dark and the air 
so noxious with charcoal fumes that it was impossible 
to stay for a minute without feeling sick and dizzy. 
Having removed the curtains and the three charcoal 
stoves, I saw lying before me on a very humble 
bed a newly made mother who had begun to show 
signs of tetanus. The nurse and her other attend- 
ants one by one had been obliged to go on the 
roof to inhale fresh air. All nervous disorders are 
especially ascribed to evil spirits, and the exclusion 
of fresh air and burning of charcoal appear to be 
necessary adjuncts of the ceremonies for their exor- 
cism, so I am afraid that in spite of my advice the 
charcoal fires and curtains were replaced as soon as my 
back was turned." Dr. Mildred Staley, when working 
at Delhi, gave three accounts of exorcism. " I found a 
woman delirious with fever after childbirth. She was 
propped up in a sitting posture on a filthy bed in a 
dark cupboard and beside her crouched two old crones, 
one on each side. Grasping her hair in their long lean 
hands, they occupied themselves in violently shaking 
her backwards and forwards with all their might and 
main, tearing out handfuls of her hair in their vigorous 
efforts to evict the evil spirit with which the poor 
creature was supposed to be possessed. All but the 
back part of her hair had 'thus been pulled out and she 


was evidently starved as she swallowed some milk with 
avidity." " One sometimes sees terribly sad cases of 
neglect and starvation of the sick. One poor woman 
whom I was called to visit had primarily suffered from 
a slight and curable disease, but she had not been 
allowed anything, not even a drop of water to wet her 
lips for five days. This was by order of the native 
magic men who wished to starve out the evil spirit 
which they said had caused the illness. She must 
have gone through great agony, but was quite past 
hope when I saw her, and died a few hours later — 
starved to death." The third case was that of a young 
Mohammedan girl of sixteen who was suffering from 
consumption and had been under treatment from the 
local medicine men, this consisted in violently shak- 
ing the poor child backwards and forwards for hours 
together until she died from exhaustion. 

In contrast to these efforts to evict and avoid the 
demons we hear of a mother in Ping Yin, North China, 
who threw her two-year-old baby away to die. His 
convulsions had frightened her so she had given him 
to the devil, and that the devil might know his own she 
had daubed patches of black paint upon him and tied 
pieces of dog-skin round his wrists. The poor little 
baby was brought to Miss Phillips at the S.P.G. mission 
and found to be suffering from meningitis ; the mother 
was sent for, and she was no longer afraid when she 
found her baby sleeping quietly under the influence of 

It is to be expected that people living under the 
shadow of such dark and vindictive forces are filled 


with suspicion and mistrust even of those who would 
help them. Not long since a Chinese official fled from 
a Christian dispensary in horror, as he was certain 
that the castor-oil capsules that he had seen there were 
the eyes of little children gouged out by the Christian 
doctors. And there was a widespread belief among 
the frontier tribes of Afghanistan that the British 
Government was seeking by vaccination for a young 
girl whose veins flowed with milk instead of blood 
that they might carry her off to England for sacrifice. 

The conception formed by most of the primitive race 
is that of a multitude of gods who are at variance with 
one another, and are not superior but rather inferior 
to the men who seek to propitiate them. The people 
can give but little answer to the problem of suffering 
beyond the fact that it is vindictive and malicious, and 
fear has so confused their minds that they have prac- 
tically never tried to find any remedy or alleviation. 

Indeed instances and examples might be multiplied 
indefinitely as practically every non-Christian race 
affords some illustration of the underlying belief in 
demonism and the suffering it has caused. It is into 
such a chaos of creed and custom that the medical 
missionary brings his offer of help, and claims that the 
"interference" is not wholly unjustifiable. He brings 
a faith founded on the supremacy of God, and indeed 
the first step in the conquest of pain is to acknowledge 
that God is supreme over all His works, a moral Power 
above creation. In this faith we are able to move for- 
ward in confidence that disorder will yield to order, 
that light will shine increasingly upon our darkness. 


This was the answer given to Job that brought him 
hope in the midst of pain ; and it is this knowledge 
which will at last dispel the uneasy mists of ghosts, 
and ghouls, and evil spirits that add a thousandfold 
to suffering and disease, and that will give the patient, 
hitherto kept tense by anxiety and alarm, the con- 
fidence to commit the keeping of his soul to God in 
peace "as unto a faithful Creator". 



It is curious that medicine and the healing art have 
made such little progress among the ancient races of 
China, Persia, India or the Moslem world whose civiliza- 
tion had been long established before Europe had 
awakened out of sleep. The need of suffering human- 
ity is so direct and so urgent that it seems almost in- 
credible that they have made no advance and little 
effort to inquire into the cause and to relieve the 
effect of disease. Yet such is indeed the case ; and it 
forces the question as to whether some essential germ 
of life and of wisdom and power has not been missing 
from their development. The Christian Faith in 
teaching the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood 
of man has quickened the sense of love and sympathy 
and responsibility in the hearts of men ; they have 
been forced through all the ages to put that faith into 
action and, notwithstanding innumerable mistakes and 
even unworthy ideas, it has brought them to a clearer 
understanding and a greater wisdom. The fruit of the 
Spirit is love, it is the natural and essential outcome 
of the Gospel ; but among the gifts of the Spirit are 
wisdom, and counsel, and understanding, and this en- 
richment has come in a wonderful degree to those 

(17) 2 


nations who accept the Faith of Christ — they do move 
forward into light. If we would study an arrested 
civilization we have only to turn to China that great 
nation of 300,000,000 people who invented the com- 
pass and discovered gunpowder before the Christian 
era, who invented printing five hundred years before 
Gutenberg and to whom we owe the culture and 
manufacture of silk and the making of porcelain. 
Archdeacon Moule in a letter addressed with great re- 
spect to the scholars of China was able to congratulate 
them on the great age of their institutions and dis- 
coveries, and the age and importance of their literature. 
He alluded to the fact that competitive examinations 
had been in vogue for twelve hundred years and that 
the Han characters now in use are, at least.two thousand 
years old, and that Ch inese paper and pencils are of about 
the same date. Yet we can hardly say that their pro- 
gress as a nation has gone on unhindered and un- 
checked, and when we turn to their study of medicine 
and disease we find that they have apparently made 
no advance at all. 

According to Chinese tradition the semi-mythical 
Emperor Shen-nung is accredited with having written 
the first medical treatise as early as 2700 B.C. 
Possibly he was a contemporary of Hammurabi of 
Babylon in whose famous code we learn that " If the 
doctor has treated a gentleman for a severe wound 
with a lancet of bronze and has caused the gentleman 
to die, or has removed a cataract of the eye for a 
gentleman with the bronze lancet and has caused the 
loss of the gentleman's eye, one shall cut off his 


hands ". However that may be, and notwithstanding 
this excellent beginning made by Shen-nung the state 
of medical science in China to-day is probably at lower 
ebb than it was at the time of Hippocrates, and the 
knowledge of anatomy is certainly inferior to that of 
ancient Greece or Rome 2000 years ago. A later 
Chinese saying informs us that "Medicine, fortune- 
telling, astrology, physiognomy may all be taken up 
as a trade or profession (as a diversion) by scholars," 
but it hastens to add that only the last is really 
respectable. In a land governed by examinations 
it is strange that no examination or qualification of 
any sort has been required for a man to start practice 
as a doctor, in fact the medical profession still continues 
to be frequently used as a refuge for those who have 
hopelessly failed in other pursuits. The functions of 
the body are explained by the mystical terms of the Yin 
and the Yang or the positive and negative, the male and 
the female principle in nature, and sickness is supposed 
to be some disagreement between these forces. Until 
quite recently no dissection was allowed in the Chinese 
Empire so that the anatomy of the body was decided by 
the most ingenuous guess-work. Nothing is known of 
the nervous system or of the circulation of the blood, 
and every organ except the brain is said to have a pulse. 
The heart is considered by them to be the centre of being 
and therefore it must also be in the centre of the body, 
the liver with its seven lobes contains the motor centres 
for the eyes and the soul, and the larynx goes straight 
through the lungs to the heart. The Chinese also be- 
lieve that the brain is in the stomach, and an amusing 
illustration of this is given by Prof. Cooper of Shanghai, 


who once told a Chinese doctor that he had great 
difficulty in learning and remembering more than 
twenty fresh characters of the Chinese alphabet each 
day. The doctor promptly advised him to get up 
very early in the morning and then eat his rice so as 
to keep the characters literally in his mind. 

The Siamese hold an equally surprising theory of 
anatomy. They have decided that as the whole of 
nature is composed of the four elements of earth, air, 
fire, and water the human body must be of similar 
construction, and that, further, it is composed of twenty 
different kinds of earths, twelve kinds of water, six 
kinds of wind, and four of fire. According to the 
medical opinion of Siam fever is caused by a dispro- 
portionate amount of fire as dropsy is by too much 
water, and there are exactly ninety-six diseases in 
all to which the body is liable. 

In China the doctors responsible for such compli- 
cated mechanism are divided into two classes, the 
internal and external, or, as we would say, the phy- 
sicians and surgeons. The external doctor boldly 
professes to be able to puncture the body with a 
skewer in no less than 367 safe places in order to "let 
out the wind," for they maintain that wherever there 
is swelling there must of necessity be wind. As these 
367 safe places include the lungs and the stomach the 
results may be well imagined, and acupuncture is re- 
sponsible for diseased joints and deep, suppurating 
wounds, if not for blood poisoning and death. 

Miss Phillips, M.B., when at Ping Yin described 
some aspects of Chinese medicine '* Pinching, thump- 


ing, kicking, twisting, and needling are all practised 
here, and it often gives more trouble to undo the effects 
of the treatment than to cure the original complaint. 
Pinching seems, however, to be very soothing to 
hysterical women and we often see them with a collar 
of bruises round their necks. Needling is extremely 
common : the professional needle is a lancet-shaped 
instrument with a handle of twisted wire, but the 
domestic article is more commonly used and some- 
times disappears into the part under treatment." The 
Chinese still probe the abdomen with red-hot needles 
as a cure for cholera, or thrust needles into the lungs 
for pneumonia. 

Medicines are often very expensive, and they are 
extremely complicated in composition, the idea being 
that if one of the ingredients fails to suit the patient 
another will probably succeed. Some medicines may 
have as many as twenty or more different ingredients 
which all require to be boiled together and taken at 
a draught. The effect of taking a bowlful of hot 
nauseous liquid at night, followed by the heaping of all 
the family bed-clothes on the top of the patient, often 
causes a profuse perspiration which is probably the 
most beneficial effect of the medicine. If the first 
dose fails to effect a cure, another doctor is called in, 
and so on till recovery or death takes place. 

A list of medicines recorded in a missionary journal 
gives a good impression of the " benevolent art " as 
practised in China : — 

" Flies are of great use to man, for their heads when 
pounded and used as a pomade form an infallible hair 


restorer for head, beard, and eyebrows. . . . Bats are 
harmless animals and of great value in medicine. 
Their flesh applied as a poultice is a sovereign cure 
for the stings of scorpions ; roasted and eaten they dry 
up the excess of saliva in infants. . . . There is nothing 
better for that dangerous disease, lethargy, than to put 
fleas in the patient's ears. . . . Certain devout and 
religious people have been known to put bugs in their 
beds that they might be more wakeful to contemplate 
divine things . . . one purpose of their creation was 
doubtless to keep us from pride . . . but the main 
object of the creation of bugs was for the benefit 
of the sick. They are of remarkable efficacy in the 
hysteria of females, if one puts them in the patient's 
nose. Seven bugs taken in barley water are of great 
value in quartan ague and for the bites of scorpions." 

It is interesting to note in passing that the germ 
that causes leprosy has actually been found in the 
house bug and it is probable that the disease is trans- 
mitted by its means. Such " benefits for the sick " 
are indeed unexpected! The following prescription 
was used by a Chinese doctor : " Powdered snakes, 2 
parts ; wasps and their nests, i part ; centipedes, 6 
parts ; scorpions, 4 parts, and toads, 20 parts. Grind 
thoroughly, mix with honey, and make into small pills. 
Two to be taken four times a day." 

A charming picture of a medical missionary of the 
seventeenth century stands out in grateful contrast to 
such practitioners. Fr. Bernard Rhodes of the Society 
of Jesus was probably the earliest Christian physician 
in China, and the account of his work that has come 


down to us is written by his contemporary Fr. Parennin. 
" When his talents were known, and when experience 
had shown what was his skill in surgery and pharmacy, 
and even in the knowledge of pulses and diseases, they 
esteemed him much more. . . . 'What a difference,' 
they often said, 'between this European physician 
and the physicians of our nation. They lie boldly 
and undertake at great risk to sick persons to give 
remedies for diseases they know not, as well as those 
they know. . . . That man on the contrary speaks 
little, promises little, and does much. . . . Nothing 
disheartens him, he is always the same. His charity 
extends impartially to everyone, to the poor as to the 
rich. On leaving our apartments he goes to our 
stables to visit our servants ; he attends them, he con- 
soles them, he heals them. The only thing that gives 
us pain is that we know not how to induce him to 
receive the least trifle, merely to make such a proposal 
is to displease him, and to make him run away.' " 

The use of counter-irritants and cauteries have, of 
course, their place in medical treatment, but to apply 
boiling oil or fire to a wound is a somewhat drastic 
exposition of the principle. Boiling oil was commonly 
used in Europe to stop the bleeding of gunshot wounds 
until Ambroise Pare, the Huguenot surgeon of Charles 
IX of France, was unable to obtain a fresh supply of 
oil while acting as surgeon to the French army in Turin. 
" At last," he wrote, " my oil ran short and I was forced 
instead thereof to apply a digestive made of the yoke 
of eggs, oil of roses, and turpentine." The result was 
so satisfactory that he " resolved never more to burn 


thus cruelly poor men with gunshot wounds ". This 
treatment, so long discarded in Europe, is still continued 
in the East. Not long since a poor Indian woman 
was brought to the St. Aidan's Mission for Indians in 
Durban, and the medical missionary found that boiling 
oil had been poured upon a small wound which had 
in consequence become an open sore half a foot square. 
Throughout the East little fires will be lighted in three 
or four places over the painful area on the patient's 
body, sometimes by means of a brownish powder partly 
made of saltpetre, sometimes by means of small pieces 
of rag, about the size of a shilling, steeped in oil. This 
invariably leaves a bad sore, which may heal by slow 
degrees, and it is no uncommon thing to find as many 
as fifty scars on a patient's body as a result of such 
applications. In one case brought to a mission hos- 
pital for treatment it was found that a South Indian 
mother had actually held her little boy's hand in the 
fire by way of healing a small wound. 

Sores such as these which have probably been caused 
in the first instance by ignorant treatment are usually 
plastered with mud and cow-dung which forms a hard 
crust under which the ulcer spreads and putrifies. Dr. 
Mildred Staley, when at Delhi, had to attend a little boy 
who had been plastered in this manner for several 
months. She had to poultice constantly for three 
days before she could get his head fairly clean, when 
it was found that the whole scalp was one deep ulcer. 
Another case was that of a woman treated in St. 
Catherine's, Cawnpore, who was suffering from severe 
bruises across her chest, which had been smeared with 




cement made into a paste with some sort of vegetable ; 
she is described as looking as if she had been rolling in 
the mud. Such plasters are used in cases of suppura- 
tion ; if the discharge continues to find its way through, 
more layers of mud and cow-dung are added. The 
use of such disagreeable applications is probably largely 
ceremonial, for it is no uncommon thing for a high- 
caste lady to send her servants to purify the ward 
which she is to occupy in the hospital. This they 
do by washing the floor, walls, and bed with water 
from the Ganges. These are then rubbed over with 
cow-dung. Burnt rags are spread over an inflamed 
joint and poultices are -used; these are somewhat 
better than the plasters, for they are usually composed 
of figs, or the leaves of the castor-oil plant, or pounded- 
up cactus plants. A pitiful case in Cawnpore was 
that of a boy whose badly burnt hand had been soaked 
in ink for some time by a native doctor, this left as 
might be expected an unusually troublesome wound 
that took long to cleanse and heal. Ophthalmia and 
ulceration of the eyes are exceedingly common through- 
out the East, and the usual remedy is to rub some kind 
of powder into the eyelids ; pepper is commonly used 
for this purpose, or charcoal which has been ground to a 
powder and mixed with alum, or with bits of powdered 
teeth and bone. A further source of such diseases 
may be traced to the custom of " cleaning " the eye- 
lids which prevails in China. The barber turns them 
over to scrape them, and when inflammation ensues 
the process is repeated until it results in permanent 
injury to the eye. Leeches are constantly employed 
in India for all manner of swellings. " I had seven 


leeches put on," said a woman in Rawal Pindi who 
was suffering from an abscess on her finger. " They 
drank up my strength but they did not drink up the 

The abuse rather than the use of splints, and the 
amazing carelessness and neglect are together respon- 
sible for the constant cases of gangrene. Splints are 
sometimes made of layers of very thin pliable pieces of 
wood, each layer being separated from the other by tow 
tightly bound round the limb and the whole soaked 
through with oil. A little boy was thus brought to St. 
Catherine's Hospital, Cawnpore, with a broken arm. He 
was screaming in such agony that Dr. Dawson was 
obliged to give him a small dose of morphia while she 
attended to the fracture. The injured arm was so tightly 
fastened that it had been compressed into half the size of 
the other, the hand and forearm were greatly swollen and 
the hand was quite cold. A typical case of neglect was 
that of another boy brought to Murhu, he had broken 
both arms five days before, one had become gangren- 
ous and amputation was immediately necessary. Yet 
another child inTsolo, South Africa, had his foot crushed 
by a horse, and was left so long without proper attention 
that his foot actually dropped off from gangrene. We 
can judge what this means by the description given by 
the late Dr. Pennell : " In the case of a fractured thigh 
a sheepskin is tied on, a rough splint applied externally 
and often left for a week or more. When there has 
been an open wound and the patient has been brought 
several days' journey through the heat down to our 
hospital at Bannu, you can usually anticipate the 


character of the case by seeing the men, who have 
carried the bed, carefully winding their pagaris round 
their noses and mouths before proceeding to unband- 
age it for your inspection, and when it is at last opened 
all except the doctor and his assistant try to get away 
as far as possible." 

It may well be imagined that in such a pitiful con- 
fusion, where the cure is often if not usually far worse 
than the complaint, the patients have the vaguest 
notions of their own symptoms. Mrs. Weston, M.B., 
of Nazareth, describes the initial difficulty in getting 
an answer to the question, ' ' What is your age ? " "If 
this apparently simple inquiry is put through an in- 
terpreter, there follows a long and animated conversa- 
tion embellished with gesticulations, at the end of which 
the interpreter regales you with some remote piece of 
family history — probably some land dispute between 
different connexions of the patient years ago. If you 
restate the question with emphasis a similar occurrence 
may result, but at the long last you get for your answer 
the approximate age of the patient's eldest son." Dr. 
Dawson of Cawnpore quotes the answer of a woman 
when asked the age of her child : "He was born after 
his uncle went to Bombay," and on being further 
pressed she added, " It was when flour was dear in the 
bazaar ". Passing from the age to the " history of the 
present illness " the patient or interpreter may hasten 
to give symptoms which they think are suitable to the 
case. " Are you sure he has such and such a symp- 
tom ? " asks the white doctor ; " must have, must have " 
is the answer, but on examination it is found that the 


account is based on a totally erroneous idea of the 
nature of the complaint. It is difficult to make a 
satisfactory diagnosis when the patients describe their 
illness in such terms as these, " All night long a pigeon 
danced on my liver," " I have a sensation of a pot 
boiling in my inside," or " I feel as if a bird was flutter- 
ing in my leg ". It is more difficult still when it comes 
to a question of caste, for then it may be that the 
patient is on one side of the curtain while the English 
doctor is on the other, and caste prevents him seeing 
her. These bonds of caste survive even an English 
education as in the case of a Sikh, house surgeon to a 
Government hospital. He came one morning to Mrs. 
Blair, M.D. , at her dispensary in Banda in great distress, 
for his daughter-in-law, a girl barely sixteen years old, 
was dangerously ill and he could do nothing for her; 
incredible as it seems he had never seen her face, and 
even then he might not touch her beyond feeling her 
pulse. Mrs. Blair was in attendance for several hours 
and finally had to tell the father-in-law that he must 
give the patient chloroform while she operated. He 
did so, at first administering it through the patient's thin 
chadder, but before she was completely unconscious 
the covering was removed, and for the rest of that 
anxious night there was no further thought of pro- 
prieties. Yet had there been no woman doctor the 
girl might have died, though her father-in-law, a fully 
qualified surgeon, was in the house. 

Where there is such complete individual ignorance 
we find, of course, that the health of the community 
is entirely ignored. Sir Robert Hart has said that 


he remembers a coolie being drowned in the mud in 
the Peking of old days; and drainage, scavenging, 
lighting, and a pure water supply are unknown in 
the East unless they have been introduced by Euro- 
peans. It is probable that if such a place as Mecca 
could be made sanitary and put under enlightened 
medical care, there would be a real diminution of the 
epidemics, the diseases and the suffering of the world ; 
as it stands it is a menace to the health of all. Dr. 
Aspland sums up the attitude of the Chinese so far as 
the general welfare of the community is concerned as 
that of " Dirt, Disease, and Doubt ". Dr. Phillips, when 
at Ping Yin, wrote that there were no really clean 
pools in Shantung, and that she had often seen a 
mother washing clothes in the greenish-black water 
of some stagnant pool, while the child at her side was 
drinking the same water with evident relish. " China," 
writes another missionary, "is notorious for the entire 
neglect of proper sanitation. Peking the capital . . . 
has been pronounced by competent judges as the dirtiest 
city on earth," and a native Indian army surgeon de- 
clares, " It is almost needless to enter upon a description 
of the sanitation of an Indian village, for there is a total 
absence of it ". 

Of course there are many quaint stories of the ignor- 
ance of the common people, some of which may not 
be altogether unfamiliar to our home experience. " In 
visiting the poor people," Mrs. Weston tells us, "it 
does not occur to one at first how extremely simple are 
their domestic arrangements. It is experience which 
teaches the desirability of carrying soap and towel and 


also precludes the hope of anything to wash one's hands 
in except a brass pot of about half a pint capacity, and 
having a neck some 2^ in. in diameter." One woman 
in Africa declared she could not stay in the hospital 
because the walls were white; a Mohammedan lady 
protested that she could only sleep with her feet in one 
direction ; ointment to be applied to a wound has been 
hung over the bed as a charm ; in Corea tincture of 
iodine was readily drunk by a sick man, and the pills 
that were given to a Chinese patient were swallowed 
"in mistake" by his friend! A story that reminds us of 
Silverlocks and the teeny weeny bear's porridge was 
that of small Robert of Pondoland who was not even 
allowed a taste of his own medicine, for, finding 
that it had a pleasant flavour, his family swallowed it 
all. At Ranchi a poor woman was attending the dis- 
pensary with a fractured wrist and one day complained 
that she was suffering from indigestion. Miss Poole, 
who is in charge of the work there, suggested getting 
some medicine for her, but the woman explained that 
it would be of no use as the indigestion was caused 
by her being obliged to eat rice with her left hand, the 
right hand being often described as the " rice-eating 
hand". The desire for much medicine is common to 
all lands, and it is not always easy to explain to simple 
people the need for operation. This was refused in 
the case of a little child in Pondoland as her parents 
could not be made to understand the nature of her 
illness, a bad abscess in her side. " We wish drinking 
medicine," they said, " to clear this matter up." Need- 
less to say " drinking medicine " was of no use and the 


child died soon afterwards at her home. In East 
Africa a woman, ill with fever, clamoured for the 
" akoma " — the little iron thing — that had done her so 
much good before. It afterwards transpired that she 
meant the clinical thermometer! 

Thus we find an impenetrable wall of ignorance that 
has indeed " hedged in " the people, until the very desire 
for advance has become foreign to them, and they 
have lost all ambition or wish to learn. It is true that 
the " unchanging East " has begun to change, that the 
old examination halls are deserted, and that there is a 
thirst for Western education. But that is beyond our 
present subject. We have only to chronicle the fact 
that these ancient and venerable civilizations that were 
able to evolve deep philosophies and a fine and worthy 
literature while as yet Europe remained dead to all 
thought of progress, have, notwithstanding, failed to 
meet the simplest cry of human suffering with an in- 
telligent response. " The fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning of wisdom," we have repeated the words often 
enough ; may we not now judge by the world's history 
that advance in thought and enlightenment can only be 
made where certain foundation principles are to be 
found. There must be from the beginning a know- 
ledge of the Divine wisdom, and a clear sense that 
man is called to receive his share and endowment of it 
from God. Thus expectation is kindled and the Holy 
Spirit leads us through the strait places into a city of 
many habitations. 



A CLOUD of despair seems to hang over the non- 
Christian races and to render them helpless if they are 
overtaken by misfortune or calamity. The Moham- 
medan finds no reason for action when disaster over- 
whelms him, for it is "Kismet" — an unalterable fate, 
while the Buddhist only seeks to suppress sense and 
emotion and to practise indifference that he may attain 
to complete detachment. Thus he finds his ideal in 
the face of the Buddha, a face of cold and apathetic 
calm. So long as the lovelessness of God and the 
helplessness of man is taught, it is impossible for joy, 
that further fruit of the spirit, to come to fruition ; 
men cannot gather grapes from thorns or figs from 
thistles. Where, then, we look for mastery the East 
only looks for escape or helpless, weary resignation. 
To the Christian pain may become a factor in man's 
moral, intellectual, and spiritual life; we do not deny 
its existence nor underrate its sting, but we seek, with 
confidence, to use it and in due time to conquer it. 
So we believe ourselves to be by God's will masters 
of our destiny, and acting on this assurance we have 
seen disease retreat from territories where hitherto it 



has held supreme. But it is otherwise when men are 
overshadowed by the thought of an inexorable destiny, 
for there they make no effort to seek protection and it 
naturally results in a vast disregard for human life. 
The great visitations of flood, famine, and pestilence 
find them totally unprepared ; they make no attempt to 
understand, to investigate, or to overcome, and they 
are left as they were found, helpless and indifferent. 
The "Lancet" of 16 July, 1898, published the 
answers to certain questions addressed by the French 
Statistical Department to the Pasha of Damascus : — 
" Q- What is the death-rate per thousand in your 
principal city? 

A. In Damascus it is the will of Allah that all must 
die ; some die old, some young. 

Q. What is the annual number of births ? 
A. We do not know ; God alone can say. 
Q. Are the supplies of drinking water sufficient and 
of good quality ? 

A. From the remotest period no one has ever died 
of thirst. 

Q. General remarks on the hygienic conditions of 
your city. 

A. Since Allah sent us Mohammed, His prophet, to 
purge the world with fire and sword there has been 
a vast improvement. But there still remains much 
to do. Everywhere is opportunity to help and to re- 
form. And now my lamb of the West, cease your 
questioning which can do no good either to you or to 
anyone else. Man should not bother himself about 
matters which concern only God. Salem aleikum ! " 



On the Afghan frontier a political officer asked a 
chief whether he would like the Government to open 
a dispensary where the sick might be healed and cared 
for. " Sir, it is not what we want," was the answer, 
" there are already too many of us ; a pestilence to 
carry off half the people would be much more welcome." 

In most Oriental towns the death-rate is estimated 
at over 45 per 1000; and though we have indeed 
little to boast of in England in regard to the question 
of infantile mortality, yet we have at least reduced it 
to under a 100 per 1000 births, as against an infant 
death-rate in Bombay of 593 per 1000. 

Naturally such fatalism presses very harshly on the 
weak and disabled, for it is taken for granted that any 
affliction not in the nature of ordinary illness is 
irremediable ; and that as it was probably caused by 
sin committed in some former life, it is a just punish- 
ment to be borne without complaint and regarded 
without pity. There are, for instance, two hundred 
thousand or more lepers in India and, approximately, 
six hundred thousand in China and two hundred 
thousand in Japan, all of whom are left unrelieved 
and unassisted on this account. If, as in the case of 
India, there is any offer of Government assistance or 
Government segregation, they are taught that it can 
be of no avail and that nothing remains but the per- 
formance of certain ceremonies by way of atonement. 
Such an institution as a leper hospital has never been 
established by native effort uninfluenced by western 
ideas. But it was given as one of the signs of the 
Gospel that " the lepers are cleansed," and thus they 


have become an historic charge laid upon all Christian 
people. The courage that can be engendered by the 
Christian view of this affliction is best shown by the 
words of a Japanese leper : " We must not allow our- 
selves to forget that though we are lepers we still are 
men, and if we play our part as men we shall at least 
please the Lord who became Man for us ". 

The orthodox Hindu is strongly opposed to the 
education of the deaf and dumb, of whom there are 
some two hundred thousand in India ; again, it is held 
that the affliction is a Divine dispensation and none 
should therefore help the sufferer. It is also stated 
that there are four hundred and fifty-eight thousand 
blind people in India and, at least, five hundred 
thousand in China, yet no one has investigated the 
causes of blindness nor sought to prevent them. No 
effort has been made apart from missions to teach the 
blind or to develop their mental capacities, in fact in 
the report of the Shanghai Conference, 1 890, it was re- 
corded that "the Chinese seem to think that besides 
begging, the only occupation for a blind man is fortune 
telling and for a blind woman prostitution, and from 
this sad alternative they are not even protected by 
native asylums ". 

The treatment of the insane is still much confused 
with superstition and belief in diabolical possession. 
We have not ourselves been very enlightened as to 
their treatment until quite recent years, and even now 
very much remains to be done amongst the feeble- 
minded. But in China the method of treating the 
insane has been to fasten the patients up in chains, to ex- 


pose them to all weathers, or to smother them. There 
is now an Asylum in Canton in South China, and the 
London Missionary Society has an insane ward attached 
to the hospital in Siao Kan near Hankow in Central 
China, otherwise no provision has been made for their 
care apart from that of starving or beating out the devil, 
and no attempt has been made at proper feeding, or 
decency, or normal cleanliness. The same methods 
are pursued in the Mohammedan insane settlement El 
Kudr, at Nablous, where the unfortunate people are 
subject to much actual cruelty. 

In wonderful contrast to this there stand the words 
of a medical missionary : " Whatever time I can spare 
from my ordinary work (in a medical mission) I give 
to my own particular hobby, which is the care of 
lepers and of the insane ". 

But the burden of unnecessary suffering is laid most 
heavily on the women and girls in eastern lands, for 
there the inferiority of women is part of the religious 
belief, and they count for a good deal less than the 
monkeys, cows and other sacred animals. By the 
creed of Buddha no woman can enter the desired 
Nirvana until she has been re-born as a man ; and the 
common interpretation of the Mohammedan paradise, 
debased as it is said to be, has helped in the degradation 
and humiliation of womanhood in Moslem countries. 

It is hardly necessary to speak of the twenty-five 
million widows in India, their sorrows have been 
brought home to all. Many of them are mere chil- 
dren, and yet they are left to hopeless misery and 
untold degradation, as they are taught to regard them- 


selves as the cause of their husband's death on account 
of some sin committed in a former life. The Eastern 
conception of marriage and widowhood has not only 
left suffering unrelieved, but it is responsible for end- 
less ill-health and disease and a pitiful and reckless 
waste of young life. "The raising of the marriage 
age," writes Dr. Pauline Root, " was first agitated by 
missionary physicians," and certainly it is almost im- 
possible to exaggerate the physical evils of child 
marriage. Mr. Kopargaon Ramamurthi, B.A., a highly 
educated and orthodox Hindu, has expressed his 
opinion with considerable force on this point : " Is 
not a woman brought up in ignorance from childhood 
to old age simply to minister to the animal wants of 
man without complaint or, as Manu would have it, 
' kept under control and used for conserving the re- 
sources of her husband, for economizing expenses, for 
cooking and for nursing children,' for all the world as 
if she had no soul of her own to save ? . . . We hurry 
her through marriage when she is but a little child. 
We never think of the wrong done to her undeveloped 
frame, nor do we care if premature motherhood ruins 
her tortured nerves, and unfits her for ever for the 
spiritual equipoise which is so essential to her salva- 
tion. . . . Our religion itself is supposed to cry aloud 
for her self-annihilation, and to demand greater heroism 
and self-sacrifice from baby girls than ever a male is 
called upon to display in his sixtieth year." 

"These creatures are bad and stupid, what is 
the use of talking to them ? they can understand 
nothing." That was the verdict of the men who came 


up to disperse a little group of women who had eagerly 
gathered round an evangelist at Karnal. And this 
judgment of a pitiless fate was expressed in the hard 
obdurate expressions on the men's faces as they hurried 
their women away. "They can understand nothing," — 
and yet " should I not have pity on Nineveh, that great 
city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons 
that cannot discern between their right hand and their 
left ? " Wives are bought like any other goods and 
chattels and become the absolute property of the hus- 
band, who may of course do what he will with his own. 
During a recent famine in China it was easy to buy 
a woman for the equivalent of a sovereign. This 
is illustrated by a story from Afghanistan where, as 
Dr. Pennell tells us, the Afghan adds to the ordinary 
disciplines of a Mohammedan husband a further right 
to cut off his wife's nose if she gives him cause for 
jealousy. "Two years ago," he writes, in his book 
" Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier," 
' a forbidding looking Afghan brought down his wife 
to the Bannu mission hospital. In a fit of jealousy 
he had cut off her nose, but when he reflected in a 
cooler moment that he had paid a good sum for 
her and had only injured his own property, he was 
sorry for it and brought her to us to restore to her, as 
far as possible, her pristine beauty. She had a low 
forehead unsuitable for the usual operation, so I said 
to the husband that I did not think the result of the 
operation would be very satisfactory, but if he would 
pay the price I could purchase him an artificial nose 
from England, which, if it did not make her as hand- 


some as before, would at any rate conceal the de- 

'"How much will it cost?' said the Afghan. 

"'About thirty rupees.' 

" There was a silence : he was evidently racked by 
conflicting sentiments. ' Well, my man, what are you 
thinking about ? Will you have it or no ? ' 

" ' I was thinking, sir,' he replied ; * you say it costs 
thirty rupees and I could get a new wife for eighty 
rupees. ' 

" And this was said before the poor woman herself, 
without anything to show that he felt he had said 
anything out of the common. I am glad to say, 
however, that he ultimately decided to have the 
original wife patched up." 

Yet there are instances of a true and considerate 
affection, of the husband's anxiety over his wife's ill- 
ness and of splendid efforts to obtain medical help ; 
there are men, indeed, who are pleased that their 
women-folk should have the interest and variety of 
the Miss Sahib's visit, and that they should listen to 
her teaching and learn ; but the pressure of a system 
and a creed are for the most part too strong and the 
general evils that result cannot be gainsaid. The 
mortality amongst the girl mothers at the birth of the 
first baby is terribly high, and the account of two 
patients, one a maternity case visited by Dr. Mildred 
Staley when at Delhi, conveys some idea of the ap- 
parent indifference to suffering that obtains. 

" One hot Sunday morning I was called by a Hindu 
o-entleman of good position to see his daughter, before 


her marriage a patient of mine. On entering the 
zenana of the husband's house I was directed to a dark 
and noisome cupboard where I found the patient, a 
mere child of fourteen, with her baby girl. The stench 
was fearful and the thousands of flies nearly suffocated 
one, so I lost no time in lifting her up in my arms off 
her filthy couch, and carrying her straight out into the 
purer atmosphere of one of the crowded zenana rooms. 
Undaunted by the storm of opposition around us, the 
nurse who had come with me foraged for a spare bed- 
stead and clean bedding, and we soon had the poor 
girl laid on it. She told us that since the child's birth, 
three days before, no one had given her a drop of water, 
though she was raging with fever and the burning heat 
of the season. With an experienced nurse planted be- 
side her, and constant attention, she improved greatly 
at first, but on the third night a native ' Medicine-man ' 
was called in by the family, and the nurse was turned 
out then and there by him. However, the patient 
called so incessantly for her ' Doctor-Miss-Sahiba ' that 
eventually her relatives had to call us back again. 
But it was then too late to save her. The husband 
seemed greatly amused by my remonstrances, and got 
married again within a couple of weeks to another little 
girl. In another large Hindu House a young wife of 
sixteen had long been suffering from internal abscesses. 
Going one broiling July day to visit her as usual, it 
was to find that she had grown faint in the early morn- 
ing (owing to having been neglected all night by the 
lazy zenana women), and so, thinking she was dying, 
the men had thrown her from her bed and bumped 


and dragged her down the steep stone staircase to the 
lowest floor, where she lay close to the evil-smelling 
dust-bin, ready for removal when dead. In this, how- 
ever, she disappointed them, and they presently had 
the trouble of carrying her all the way back to the 
zenana ; but at the cost of what terrible suffering to 
the girls and women are such scenes enacted." 

In Tripoli a little girl escaped from a harem and 
fled into the street, but she was caught by four men, 
two of whom were her own brothers, and, though in the 
struggle her light garments were almost torn off her, 
she was hastily carried back. No one will ever know 
if the child had any cause for complaint or fear, there 
was no one to take her part, to enquire into her suffer- 
ing, or to redress her wrongs. 

We are told that infanticide is by no means ex- 
tinct in China where the birth of a baby girl is still 
considered to be ill-omened, but even if it is not so 
frequently or openly practised as in the past, there is 
still an untold amount of neglect that constantly ends 
in death. An African mother gave her baby girl the 
grim name of Bazarwaki, or " What are they born 
for? " and the pessimism of this question is re-echoed 
from the East. 

And sometimes the answer is one of such dark and 
horrible tragedy that it hardly bears repeating. There 
are the baby girls of India who, " married to the gods," 
are brought up to a life of revolting sin, in which 
indeed they cannot long survive. It is merciful to 
learn that the State of Mysore has taken the matter up 
refusing to appoint new dancing girls to the temples 


as the others die, so the profession itself may at 
length cease to exist. These Devadasies or " servants 
of god," for their hideous calling is ennobled by a 
fine title, are given or sold as babies to the temple, and 
are unable to choose or set themselves free, no matter 
what suffering they have to endure. In China the 
unwanted baby girls are left, it may be, in some 
Buddhist foundling home whence, in due time, they 
are sold as slaves or to a life that is worse than slavery. 
It might have been of such children that Mrs. Barrett 
Browning wrote : — 

And well may the children weep before you ! 
They are weary ere they run. 
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory 
Which is brighter than the sun. 
They know the grief of man without its wisdom ; 
They sink in man's despair without its calm ; 
Are slaves without the liberty of Christdom, 
Are martyrs by the pang without the palm. 
Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly 
The harvest of its memories cannot reap — 
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly — 
Let them weep I Let them weep I 

— Only we cannot let them weep. 

A short time ago a deputation of leading traders 
and others came to an Indian administrator with a 
petition that he should open a local hospital for 
women on the thoroughly unsentimental ground that 
the mortality among the young wives was so high as 
to occasion serious financial difficulties arising from 
the cost of second marriages. 

A new opinion is being slowly formed, and there is 
evidence that the cruel prejudices of old-established 


custom are slowly yielding to new and more humane 
ideals. But it cannot be denied that such ideals are 
of western and of Christian origin, for there even ap- 
pears to have been an inability to profit by the teach- 
ing of their own religious leaders who are by no means 
silent on these points. Mencius, for instance, en- 
joined pity, and yet you look in vain for any hospitals, 
or institutions for the lepers or the blind, or asylums 
for the insane in China. Mohammed proclaimed the 
man pious who disbursed his wealth among his kin- 
dred, and to the orphans and the needy and the way- 
farer, to those who ask, to those who are held at 
ransom ; but there has grown up an indifference 
to the weak and the defenceless, and the pilgrimages 
to his holy city are stained by murder and pillage. 
Fatalism has no answer for pain. " Therefore whoever 
comes to witness his beloved one departing from life, 
let him attend to the holy sages and cease indulging 
in useless grief, but console himself with the thought 
that ' In this we cannot have our way '." These words, 
that formed part of the funeral dirge for Prince Siriva- 
mosa of Siam, represent the mental attitude of the 
Eastern people. We cannot have our way — Kismet, 
it is fate ; and so without resistance they accept the 
dirt, the disease, the suffering, yes even the sin as in- 
evitable — and the bitter fruit of this spirit is despair. 



In contrast to these beliefs in many gods, this de- 
pendence on a venerable civilization, or the helpless 
resignation before an unalterable fate, all who follow 
the Christ are bound by His supreme example to 
care for the sick and to work for the cure of disease. 
Our thoughts turn instinctively to the shores of 
Galilee, to the narrow Eastern streets, to the pleasant 
hill country : " and when the sun was setting, all 
they that had any sick with divers diseases brought 
them unto Him ; and He laid His hands on every one 
of them and healed them ". So we are not surprised 
to find that the first hospital in Rome, possibly the 
first hospital in the world, was raised by a Christian — 
Fabiola, the friend of Jerome; there she tended the 
sick with her own hands devoting all her possessions 
to their use, and finally extended her pity to the out- 
cast lepers whom she gathered together that she might 
wash their wounds and heal their griefs. And this 
work of mercy has been carried on through all the 
centuries of the Christian era. Dr. Russell Wells 
points out that those who are engaged in the practice 
of medicine in England must trace their descent from 
the monastic practitioners who, like Rahere, first 



founded our hospitals and tended those who were ill. 
The very hood worn by the doctors is nothing more 
nor less than the monks' hood, " and," Dr. Wells adds, 
" none of the teaching schools in London are the 
product of the State, they are all the product of a 
desire to practise Christian virtues, and as a by-pro- 
duct of following our Lord's command, there has 
come an advance in medical knowledge ". 

If the Church had been ever in danger of forget- 
ting the care of the sick it was reminded of this duty 
in the seventeenth century, by the will of General 

Christopher Codrington was born in 1668 and had 
been educated at All Souls' College, Oxford, returning 
afterwards to his native country of Barbadoes and 
eventually becoming governor of the Leeward Islands 
at the early age of thirty. Six years later he retired 
and sought seclusion on his estates in order to study 
divinity and philosophy. The world he lived in could 
not have offered great inspiration, slavery was estab- 
lished and endowed all around him, and the religious 
restlessness of the time must have been a disturbing 
element for one who sought the peace of religion. 
Perhaps he recognized more clearly, in consequence, 
the needs of the age and summed up the result of his 
prayerful thought and quiet meditation in his will 
which is dated 1703. He leaves " My two plantations 
in the Island of the Barbadoes to the Society for the 
Propagation of the Christian Religion in Forraigne 
Parts, erected and established by my late good master 
William III, and my desire is to have the plantations 


continued intire and 300 negroes at least always kept 
thereon and a convenient number of Professors and 
Scholars maintained there, all of them to be under 
the vows of poverty and chastity and obedience, who 
shall be obliged to study and practise Physic and 
Chirurgery as well as Divinity, that by the apparent 
usefulness of the former to all mankind, they may 
both endear themselves to the people, and have the 
better opportunities of doing good to men's souls, 
whilst they are taking care of their bodys ". 

This work of healing is clearly an important Chris- 
tian duty, and like most duties it is by no means easily 
fulfilled and needs a firm faith and a good courage if 
the difficulties in the way are to be surmounted. 

Medical work can never be the impulse of a moment, 
for it would be poor science and poorer theology to send 
inefficient help to those in dire need. The ordinary 
medical course takes five and a half years, and many 
examinations and much exacting work must be suc- 
cessfully accomplished before the training is at an end. 
Although at a crisis unqualified assistance may have 
to be enlisted, yet, quite rightly, amateur medical aid 
is much discouraged. The full medical course must 
be followed by from six to twelve months' hospital ex- 
perience, and by a short training in evangelistic work : 
for the missionary doctor is pledged to the twofold 
healing of soul and body. This is, perhaps, followed 
at once by "marching orders," the destination is de- 
cided (for without talk and advertisement the mission- 
ary goes where he is sent) and the day of departure 
arranged. Yet this must largely be a question of 


finance, before now the societies have had to hold back 
their missionaries for lack of funds. Even if this 
difficulty is overcome we may fairly give one sympa- 
thetic thought to that parting from friends and home 
and kindred, even though it may be a sorrow that is 
bravely borne by all who find their life's work away 
from their native land, but which is none the less 
acute because God's call has come. 

So the big liner puts out from home, the English 
coasts fade away and somewhere in the far distance 
there are people who are waiting without realizing it 
for the life that has been consecrated, trained, and 
prepared for their service during at least six or seven 

Nothing is more disappointing than to know what 
is needed and have to be content with less; the 
societies feel it bitterly enough, but the keen doctor, 
fresh it may be from a London hospital with all the 
newest appliances and an almost inexhaustible supply 
of nurses and assistants, must find it specially hard 
to be patient with the makeshift devices and heart- 
rending surroundings abroad. Medical missions are 
commonly accounted as the most successful pioneer 
agency of the Church, but it is indeed pioneer work 
to open the medical mission and literally to build it up 
in regard to practice and premises from the beginning. 

Soon after his arrival in Murhu in 1904, Dr. 
Kennedy started medical work and it was conducted 
on the most informal lines in his own house, and 
as there was much curiosity to see a Dr. Sahib's 
house the attendance was very large. His tiny study 


became the dispensary, and the out-patients waited 
their turn on the back verandah as far as the limited 
space would allow while the rest sat on a bank facing 
the house. The verandah, out of which one sitting- 
room and bedroom opened, had to serve as an oper- 
ating theatre, and one of the bathrooms was 
sometimes requisitioned as a hospital ward. One 
patient, a Hindu, who had his lower jaw removed 
for cancer, stayed there for three months with his 
attendant Brahmin and left at the end of that time 
quite recovered. Two years later he came back on 
a visit and gave a donation to the little hospital, which 
had then been built. This hospital would scarcely 
be dignified at home with the name of Cottage 
Hospital ; it contained two wards, one with nine beds, 
the other with five, and a dispensary and operating 
room combined. At first the only assistance given 
was by a young lad gradually trained to act as com- 
pounder, but it was found that when Dr. Kennedy 
was away during the cold season visiting in the 
neighbouring villages the attendance naturally fell off, 
so that, as soon as funds permitted, an Indian Chris- 
tian surgeon was secured as assistant, and he quickly 
proved invaluable. The Cottage Hospital has been 
replaced by a larger hospital with eight wards each 
containing two or three beds, thanks to a legacy from 
an English friend and the help of the S.P.G. Medical 
Missions Department. Dr. Kennedy had already 
struggled through similar difficulties in Chitarpur 
towards the end of 1898. There he had begun by 
camping out under a grove of mango trees, holding 




his dispensary in the open air until it was promoted 

to a shed made of spare doors for walls and a 

carpet for a roof. He pushed on the building of a 

hospital, collecting materials with wonderful energy 

and making excursions to Ranchi and Hazaribagh 

in order to obtain ready-made doors and window 

frames. Some big timber was required for the roof 

and there were some suitable trees in a- grove fifteen 

miles away which was kindly offered for the purpose 

by the Rajah. But difficulties again arose as the 

villagers believed the trees to be haunted, and the 

local Brahmin declared that terrible things would 

happen if anyone dared to fell them and so disturb the 

demons who lived in them. Dr. Kennedy had to 

turn for help to the Mohammedans, who were ready 

to give some assistance so long as he cut down the 

trees himself. Directly they found that no harm 

happened to him they were ready and willing to join 

in the work. Dr. Kennedy has a genius for making 

the best of the most unsuitable materials and for 

starting work when many would give up in despair. 

Fully qualified medical assistance is a necessity and 

we should be content with nothing less, but where 

there are no assistants all must help. Dr. Kennedy 

was called upon suddenly to operate on a boy with 

a bad compound fracture of the right arm. While 

examining it he was able to draw out a piece of the 

humerus several inches long. There was nothing 

possible but amputation and this was done at once, 

the compounder giving the chloroform, and Mrs. 

Kennedy and Bishop Westcott assisting. 



Lack of proper accommodation must be a severe tax 
on the patience and the nerves. A nurse writing from 
South Africa describes the one large room in which 
her work is done. "Just inside the door I see the 
patients. In another corner my one in-patient lies 
with a screen to shut her off if necessary. Here I read, 
write, sew, and teach the native girls whom I am 
trying to train as nurses. We have meals here and 
the girls iron and do all their work at the big table." 
When Dr. Phillips first started medical work in Ping 
Yin (China) in the spring of 1 906 she had no hospital 
accommodation though the patients thronged in in un- 
manageable numbers. " If only I had some kind of 
hospital," she wrote, "no matter how poor, I should 
feel contented with it, but I have practically nothing 
— only one small mud-room in which my patients, 
their friends, and the Chinese nurse must sleep and 
eat and live." A year after she reported that " there 
were very large attendances at the dispensary, par- 
ticularly on market days (every fifth day). . . . From 
1 April till 1 3 July I had 3 1 70 attendances, that is at 
the rate of 1000 a month, the ordinary number at the 
busy season or market days is from 90 to 100 each day. 
On many occasions I have had more : I have had 1 30, 
132, 134, 154, and 156 on different days. Last year 
I had Miss Bearder's help during the first two busy 
months, but since that time I have been single-handed." 
During an itinerating tour Miss Phillips began her 
consultations at 8*30 a.m. one day and, except for 
a ten minutes' interval at ten o'clock which the people 
reluctantly allowed her, she continued work until 5 p.m., 


finishing by candlelight after having seen 174 patients 
in all. There is now a proper hospital at Ping Yin 
which is the result of such patient endurance and per- 

In .1906 when work was reopened in Pondoland 
(S. Africa) after a lapse of twelve years, Dr. Mary 
Cruickshank started a small dispensary with only two 
compartments, the roof being of thatch. The first 
patient who was brought to her was a "bewitched 
man " who had been dragged from kraal to kraal in 
the attempt to shake off the spell. At that time none 
of the drugs or instruments had arrived from England 
and yet an operation was found to be necessary ; to 
add to this, on the day fixed for the operation the 
patient was too ill to come to the small hospital, so 
Dr. Cruickshank was obliged to go to him. The few 
bandages which were all that the mission could provide 
were soon exhausted and towels had to be cut into 
strips and a needle was used instead of a scalpel. In 
another case Dr. MacMurtrie of St. Lucy's Hospital, 
Tsolo, was called to attend a boy fifteen miles away 
who had been badly gored by an ox ; the patient lay 
on the floor of the Kaffir hut and the only available 
light was from a sixpenny lamp, but his wounds were 
successfully dressed. A second Tsolo boy had his 
jaw badly injured by a horse ; the broken fragments of 
bone were joined together and his recovery was com- 
plete, but, owing to a lack of proper appliances, Dr. 
MacMurtrie was obliged to use a carpenter's bradawl 
which was, of course, first sterilized, and some tinned 
copper wire which had been originally used in an 


electric-light fitting ; by these means the broken pieces 
of bone were successfully united. In Corea, Dr. Laws 
opened his medical practice at Chin Chun in a collec- 
tion of straw-thatched sheds which were ready to col- 
lapse whenever there was a gale of wind, and his 
operations had to be performed on a packing case 
covered with rubber sheeting. 

An account of an operation from Rewari (N. India) 
affords further illustration of the many difficulties that 
have to be overcome ; it is taken from a letter written 
by Dr. Marie Hayes, who was called to rest after three 
short years of crowded work. " I must tell you what 
happened on Monday, the day when both the patients 
came in, and when both had to have operations under 
chloroform, the hospital staff at the time consisting of 
three, viz. the Biblewoman, the compounder, and one 
nurse. I got Samokar (the head nurse), however, who 
was out at a private case, to come and help ; the sweeper- 
woman's services were also necessary, and even then 
each one wanted three hands. (Besides these Dr. 
Muller had come over from Delhi.) When the abscess 
was opened it was so appalling that the Mihtrani (the 
sweeper-woman) had to depart at once. A little time 
longer, and we beheld the anaesthetist gradually falling 
insensible over the patient's head. Fortunately her 
part of the proceedings was over, so Sundar (the Bible- 
woman) holding on to the patient with one hand, 
lowered the fainting woman to the floor with the other, 
where she remained until the operation was over." 

From Delhi and Cawnpore come descriptions of the 
appalling misery of the Indian homes where, under the 




inevitable conditions of dirt and darkness, it would 
seem that surgical treatment was almost out of the 
question. " The doors of their rooms are often so low 
that I have to stoop quite double to get in, and I like 
to begin by ordering out as many people as possible, 
for there are usually ten or twelve squatting figures 
who comment loudly upon the bad symptoms, and re- 
late how a neighbour died with just such not many 
days ago. Then I crawl in and try to make out the 
patient in the darkness until my eyes get used to it 
and the smoke, or perhaps the people bring a wee 
taper floating in oil. The patient is generally entirely 
covered up with a thick quilt well tucked in over her 
face. I once asked a woman standing by why she 
did not give some water to a poor old woman 
lying helpless on the floor of her house ; the reply was, 
' How can I give her drink when she is a Mohammedan 
and I a Hindu ? ' " Again, " Soon after I came here an 
operation had to be performed in the filthiest house 
imaginable . . . there was absolutely nothing in the 
way of comfort for the patient, and cleanliness was 
only a dream. The floor of mud, partly a swamp, and 
nowhere to set anything down except the floor, mud 
walls inhabited by all sorts of living creatures, and 
such crowds of people ! Our first proceeding in go- 
ing to a case is to try and get rid of some of the 
dozens of children who are always about. ' Hat ! 
Hat ! ' (meaning ' Get out ') is a very useful expres- 
sion to use to dogs, cats, and small children ; it is not 
polite enough to use to everyone." "While prepara- 
tions were being made for the operation the people 


who were Brahmins were exceedingly particular that 

we did not touch anything belonging to them. Water 

would be poured from a vessel held at arm's length 

high above our basins, their skirts would be drawn 

together if they came anywhere near us for fear of the 

slightest contact, with difficulty did I procure all I 

wanted. It was wonderful to note the change in their 

attitude towards us after the operation, then they 

couldn't do enough for us. Water was given to me 

in one of their own brass pots, I waited for it to be 

poured out by one of them. But I was told to take it. 

' May I touch it ? ' I asked. ' Touch it, why not ? ' 

was the answer, ' Is not this your house ? ' The 

mother was determined that I alone should give the 

medicine I had prescribed. 'You are Brahmins,' I 

said, ' will she drink it from my hands ? ' ' You have 

given her back her life,' they replied, 'so why will 

she not take it from you.' " 

There are of course many personal discomforts that 
have to be overcome or forgotten. A long June day 
in a Delhi operating theatre means no light work when 
the heat is intense, and if by chance a dust-storm is 
raging no windows can be opened. In fact in a bad 
dust-storm it becomes so dark that one can hardly dis- 
tinguish the windows at all, and there is " dust in your 
mouth and in your hair (and as one's hair is always 
wet, there are the elements of mud), dust in your sponge 
and basin and brushes, the towels thick with it, and the 
floor, in spite of various sweepings, nearly ready for 
digging ". " There is a gritty feeling about everything," 
wrote Dr. Alice Marval, the doctor who was to lay 


down her life in the plague. "I should like to have 
a duster always tucked into my waistband . . . the 
insects too of every sort are a worry. Some eat one's 
clothes, some one's papers and pictures, some bite 
one, some get into the sugar, some into the ink, making 
stains everywhere when they come out ; some buzz 
round the lamp and make it messy all over ; some 
rush past one and drop with a startling thud upon the 
floor." Then there are the long journeys in heat or 
cold to visit a patient, and the doctor must be equally 
ready to bicycle or ride, to drive in a rough native 
cart or to walk. Dr. Mildred Staley writes from 
Malacca in grateful acknowledgment of a parcel of 
medical accessories sent out to her from home : " Your 
packet of absorbent wool came just in time, and is 
already used up for some very urgent clean dress- 
ings. The very day after it came I was called to 
perform a major operation on the daughter of a Malay 
headman some miles away. It was a great triumph 
to get their consent, and they dreaded the chloroform, 
but all went well, and I have been going (with the 
dressings !) every other day though it means a terrible 
walk on soft mud paths into the heart of a mangrove 
swamp, all among the most loathsome land crabs and 
mud fish, and crossing wide rivers on single bamboo 
poles which wobble." 

Under such circumstances as these we need to claim 
that spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind 
which has been promised us and which will enable the 
workers to overcome all obstacles whether of insuf- 
ficient help and accommodation, of race or of dim- 


ate. Indeed it has already transformed the makeshift 
mud huts or wattle sheds into adequate and well- 
equipped hospitals, and we look for its influence in 
the extension of medical work. But the success that 
crowns the work and satisfies the worker comes when 
across the wide divisions of race and language, of 
caste and ritual, love has begun to answer love. 

Away in Jercherla (S. India) there lives an old 
Brahmin woman who was the bitterest antagonist of 
the mission. She used to persuade her neighbours not 
to come for advice or treatment. " They use the 
medicines as charms," she would say, " they only want 
to charm you into becoming Christians, if you go to 
them you will believe as they do and lose your caste." 
She was living with a young Mohammedan woman 
whom the lady evangelist used to visit, and, to mark 
her displeasure, she always left the house when the 
missionary entered it. Then she fell ill, and gradually 
got worse and worse and a carbuncle formed near her 
knee. No one could relieve the pain, so the young 
woman who lived with her persuaded her to come to 
the mission. The poor old soul walked up one morn- 
ing and the exertion made her faint. The missionaries 
heard of this and managed to send for her every 
morning, and when they found out that she was not 
getting sufficient nourishment they provided that also. 
Now there is no more loyal friend of the mission, and 
day by day she may be heard exhorting the patients 
to trust the mission workers. " I was against them once, 
but I know now what love means — they are my parents 
and I am their child. And caste? What is caste? 




I believe in the good qualities they show, that is their 
caste." So also with the Jercherla man who came with 
a bad back which was entirely covered by cruel-looking 
ulcers. " Do you know why I am doing this ? " asked 
the missionary as she gently dressed his wounds. 
" Yes," he answered, " you are a believer in Jesus Christ 
and you try to do good to me because you serve Him, 
and when you die He will call you and say, ' when 
you were living in Jercherla did you think with love 
and pity on those in pain ? ' and you will say, ' Yes, 
Lord'. Then He will say, 'Yes, that is true, and be- 
cause you did it to them I look upon it as done to Me '." 
We can overhear the patients talking in the hos- 
pitals: "What care would you get at home," says 
Bed No. 1 contentedly, " if you were lying ill there ? 
Why it would be a great thing if anyone were to pass 
you a drink of water!" "Your mother-in-law beat 
you till she broke your arm," says another, "your 
own mother could not take more trouble than they do 
here to make it well again " ; and a third, unable to 
speak as she regains consciousness after chloroform, 
clasps her thin hands together in mute gratitude. 
" One face stands out in my memory, typical of 
many another of India's women," wrote Dr. Mabel 
Stevenson, " the wife of a poor Mohammedan tailor. 
Coming into the dispensary tent (during an itinerating 
tour) she fell and kissed my feet. ' You have come 
back at last,' she said, ' how I have waited ! What ? 
You don't remember me ? I, who was blind, to whom 
you gave sight? Yet daily have I prayed to Allah 
that you might come back to tell me of your God 


who gave you the gift of healing' So we went 
together to her mud hut, and talked much of the Great 
Physician, Allah's own Son. ' True, true,' she said, 
'but how can we remember, we, ignorant stupid 
women? We will treasure His Name in our hearts, 
and pray in it, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ' I can see 
her standing on her doorstep, waving farewells, half 
smiles and half tears, and calling, ' Come back soon, 
very soon '." 

Surely then the cry of suffering has been heard, and 
little by little light steals in upon the mystery of pain. 
We cannot fully understand that mystery even now, but 
we watch it already retreating where once it reigned 
supreme, we see it already interpenetrated with love 
and pity, and compassion ; we recognize already the 
victory in pain and we look confidently forward for 
victory over pain. 

" Why does God let us suffer if He is so good ? " It 
is a question asked fervently from an Indian sick-bed 
and the Christian doctor listens for what answer the 
little Christian native nurse will make. "If God 
sends the suffering, He sends the good too. And we 
learn by His suffering how much He loves us — He 
who was God! and" — the voice hesitates — "a great 
deal comes from dirt and living in sin." 



When William Langland in the " Vision of Piers Plow- 
man " was seeking for an image of the Incarnation, he 
said that " Truth telleth that Love is the Treacle of 
Heaven". The words were written in an age when 
medical science in England was in its infancy though 
many monasteries and convents had already shown 
their compassion and opened their doors to the weak, 
the sick, and the needy. And amid a multitude of 
distasteful remedies ranging from bitter herbs to boiled 
adders, Genoa treacle stood out in pleasant and singu- 
lar contrast, a medicine altogether to be desired. So, 
indeed, the Incarnate Love comes with wonderful 
healing and sweetness, a very " Treacle of Heaven " to 
a world that had vainly prescribed for suffering and 
sin, by stoicism and fatalism, by theories of retribu- 
tion and vengeance, and by counsels of unemotional 
detachment. Love hoping all things has created 
hope. No one dreads the tender ministrations of 
love, and because fear is calmed, hope can rise. It is 
indeed the rare and special flower that springs into 
life wherever the Christian Faith has passed, Pandora 
may hastily close her box to keep in the gift, our 
Blessed Lord has scattered it freely in a despondent 



world. And the little mission dispensary is a practi- 
cal illustration of this very practical hope. There are 
no lack of difficulties, as we have seen, that must be 
overcome before the doctor can organize his work. 
Love brings him to the spot, the love which has given 
him the clear sense of vocation (and here we have a 
word that is in itself a creed proclaiming the relation- 
ship of God and man) so that hope follows in natural 
sequence — " He that hath begun a good work in you 
will perfect it ". No one can deny the vitalizing force 
of such convictions, and where the faculty of hope is 
atrophied there we inevitably find signs of stagnation 
and decay. Coleridge once said that the best physician 
is he who can best inspire hope, and much is effected 
when they who go out to serve are filled with the spirit 
of confident expectancy. 

There is a sense of hopeful and healthy good spirits 
in the account of an itinerating tour that was under- 
taken for the extension of medical work in the Karnal 
district in the spring of 1 904. Miss May, a hospital 
evangelist, thus described the experiences of a camping 
expedition taken with Dr. Mabel Stevenson. " Our 
advance into the village was an impressive sight and not 
easily forgotten. As we approached one of our men 
donned a certain red leather belt much belettered, and 
grasping a long stick, his head held high, and with a 
general air of importance, marched on in front, this 
being their idea of impressing the multitude ! At a 
considerable distance followed the bullock cart — a 
queer straw-sided thing, piled to overflowing with our 
not too aristocratic belongings — a heterogeneous collec- 




tion of bundles of bedding, bags, tin tubs and buckets, 
tent poles, and so forth. . . . One thought with a smile 
of friends in Piccadilly! On the top was perched 
Phcebe, the little native nurse, like a presiding genius 
in pink and white, grasping the money-bag. Behind 
came the three men, and the two Miss Sahibs brought 
up the rear, hot and dusty — a fitting wind-up ! By 
the time the camping ground was fixed on, all the 
village knew that the 'Sahibs' had arrived, and we 
were surrounded by a large and curious crowd of 
brown-legged men and boys, come to see the ' tamasha ' 
(show or performance) for that is what we were to them 
The first excitement was to watch the foreigners, and 
the natives squatted down before us in crowded rows 
while the tents were put up and food was eaten, until 
at last they were hunted away by Miss Stevenson's 
Christian servant, a magnificent giant in a red waistcoat 
with a face and a laugh that did one good. . . . Then 
to sleep with the sound of the village in our ears, for 
every village rouses up at night and there was much 
beating of tom-toms ' to wake the god,' and the boys 
were singing their queer rhythmic songs in preparation 
for a Hindu festival, and the dogs were, as usual, 

" It had been too late to go and spy out the land in 
the evening, so, after breakfast and prayers with our 
two Christian helpers, we wandered round the village 
lanes that are always carpeted with generations of 
straw and sugar canes, in search of the women. One 
or two vanished round corners as we appeared, for 
they thought we were ' Sahibs ' as petticoats are no 


guide. At last by a sudden turn we came to close, 
quarters, something seemed to tell them that we didn't 
bite and they half-uncovered their faces and then one 
beckoned to us saying, "Ajao" = come. The ice was 
broken and we went up an outside flight of steps and 
on to a roof. More women were there, and on roofs 
beyond still more appeared to join us, till there was 
quite a crowd ; and then a charpoi (bed) was brought and 
we sat down. When the doctor was discovered many 
tales of woe were poured into her willing ears, so I left 
her with the first group and moved on to make friends 
elsewhere. Then in a courtyard a catechism would 
begin : ' How old are you ? ' ' Are you married ? ' ' Why 
not? ' ' Is the other one your sister? ' — the relation- 
ship always puzzles the people ; sometimes I was Miss 
Stevenson's mother, sometimes she was mine, once 
we were husband and wife ! ' But if you don't do 
cures, why are you here ? ' This brought one to the 
point and my book of sacred pictures was produced. 
Many listened eagerly, especially to the story of the 
Babe of Bethlehem, and then leading on from the 
mother's love for her child — the one real motive 
power in these sad women's lives — I could tell them 
of the Saviour's love for His lost children. 

" After a morning's work in a village or by the tents 
it is always difficult to ferret out the doctor. She was 
hard at work practically from morning till night see- 
ing about 500 people in the fortnight and performing 
many operations. When you got a glimpse of her 
through the crowd she would be generally sitting just 
inside the tent with one grimy lady claf >ing one ankle 


and perhaps two holding the other, and all eyes riveted 
on her face as she prescribes for one or examines the 
eyes of another. The dispensary was undoubtedly the 
key to the situation and opened the door to any teach- 
ing we managed to give the women. The doctor and 
her work were a witness to our genuine wish to help 
them, and often in talking to both men and women 
supplied a parable which appealed to them as strongly 
as anything could. ' They that are whole need not a 
physician, but they that are sick.' And surely the 
doctor's unfailing sympathy and patience, the skilled 
and tender hand, and the love which they must have 
felt was the mainspring of it all, will come back to 
them now as testimony to the truth of teaching which 
they only dimly understood. 

" The humours of the dispensary were many. There 
was one old lady who came to see the doctor ; it was 
impossible to discover her malady — she seemed to 
have none. At last the truth came out — ' I want an 
English pin ! ' and off she went in triumph. 

" It was striking that in almost every village there 
was one man who seemed, as it were, to be waiting 
for us — ' There shall meet you a man '. In one it 
was the village carpenter (and this was in a place 
where the men were very hostile) who took me to his 
shed, and having called his cronies brought out the 
tribal hookah, and begged me to join in smoking 
it — a great honour — then said, ' Now open your book 
and teach us '. He had heard the teaching of the 
women in the morning. Women and children grouped 
themselves about among the shavings, no one saying 


them nay, for apparently the master of the house is 
absolute in his own domain, and they all listened in- 
tently to the story of the Carpenter of Nazareth. 

" Another time it was the village munshi who begged 
me to go and teach his wife and children, or the head- 
man as in Bala. He was perhaps the most interesting 
person we met ; a tall man with a fine thoughtful face, 
who had evidently read and thought much — a real 
' seeker after God '. Sitting under a tree by the tents, 
with an audience of about a hundred men, we talked 
for two hours, this man asking many thoughtful 
questions. . . . When the meeting broke up, he asked 
for a quiet talk some other time, and on going to his 
house in the afternoon, to my surprise he had collected 
an enormous audience of women. 'Speak to them, 
Miss Sahib; they can't come to you, I can.' He 
came the next morning with some twenty more and 
we had a long talk under our tree. When preparing 
to go some exclaimed, * Go on, tell us more '. But 
the head-man said, ' No, in these weighty matters one 
must not go too fast '. They begged me to stay, if 
only for one week. ' We will give you a house, and 
take care of you and all will learn, and next year you 
will come for six months.' It was hard to refuse such 
an appeal, and that man haunts me with his sad eyes." 

It is evident in an account such as this that there 
is no forcing of religion on a reluctant people, rather 
there is a movement as of a freshening breeze that 
stirs after the heat of the day, and it does not seem 
fantastic to call it hope. We have less doubt as to 
its nature as we watch in many different lands and 

4f< > 




ST. Catherine's, cavvnpore 


among widely scattered people the same eager, pitiful 
processions that struggle to the mission doctor's door, 
actuated by the same unmistakable hope. Here is 
a Mohammedan woman closely veiled who has found 
her way to the dispensary at Rawal Pindi from her 
home forty miles away; and another Mohammedan 
lady from Afghanistan brought by her husband to the 
hospital at Cawnpore, a camel ride of three days down 
the Khyber Pass to Peshawar, and thence two days by 
train. One poor old woman was brought somehow or 
other to the same hospital with a very bad external 
tumour, and three weeks afterwards she left the mis- 
sion completely cured to walk back to her village, a 
distance of ninety miles; and yet another old body 
hobbled to Delhi from her village many miles away, in 
the middle of the hottest weather with a needle in her 
foot. Here are some Purdah ladies who have probably 
never ventured before outside their homes. On alight- 
ing from their carriage they wrap themselves, about 
half a dozen together, under one large piece of cloth to 
screen them from the looks of passers-by, and thus the 
living bundle is received and unpacked. A visit to the 
hospital or dispensary is quite an event in the mono- 
tonous lives of many of these rich ladies, for they spend 
their lives shut up in the Zenanas without any intellec- 
tual interests or employment. It is specially happy if 
they can get a few minutes' conversation with the lady 
doctor to whom they are devoted, after which they can 
get their medicine, pack themselves up in carriage or 
dholi, let down the curtains, and so be trotted off home. 
So strict is their seclusion that at the Durbar they 



were only allowed to witness the ceremonies from be- 
hind muslin curtains. At Banda every variety of con- 
veyance can be seen, some come on foot, now and 
again one on a husband's back ; some half walking, 
half supported, some "borne of four " on a light bed 
made of bamboo poles and strung round with string ; 
others in a dholi or carrying chair, a chair of ordinary 
dimensions hung by cords from the four corners from 
a stout bamboo pole carried on the shoulders of bearers 
in front and behind, in which the occupant sits with 
knees up to her chin, the cords cramping her still more, 
and a sheet thrown over all to hide her from the public 
view. Others come in pony carts of different makes, 
or in bullock wagons, and it would require a stead- 
fast hope to bear patiently with the joltings and dis- 
comforts of the journey. Witness a palmyra climber 
who was carried six miles to the hospital after a fall 
of about forty feet, with his lower jaw fractured into 
five distinct parts, his upper jaw broken, and his thigh 
very badly fractured. During famine time in Hazari- 
bagh, some women, who had no friends to carry them, 
sat down and dragged themselves painfully along. One 
old woman crawled in this way for two miles, it took 
her the whole afternoon, and when she arrived she 
was utterly exhausted. 

In Inhambane, E. Africa, the medical missionary 
was greeted one morning with the cry, " Senhora, 
there is a little girl in the yard with no meat on her 
leg," and there was a poor little child, grievously ill 
who was unable to walk and had crawled to the mission, 
a distance of five miles ! Away in Borneo one might 


meet some kindly fellows carrying a patient through 
the jungle over the rough tree trunk paths and hence 
by boat to the hospital, or Mr. Dexter Allen himself 
going forth to the villages in search of those patients 
who were unable to make their own way to consult his 
wife who is a qualified doctor. 

We turn to China. This man has come a distance 
of 300 lis, or 100 miles, from the country with tracho- 
matous eyes ; he is now ready to go back to his home 
with sound eyes and a fairly good vision, and is giving 
the doctor in charge a "Kot'ow" as he bumps his 
head on the floor in gratitude. Or to Corea where we 
find an unexpected arrival of patients, some in sedan 
chairs, some on rough stretchers, made of a plank of 
wood with a cross-bar- at the end, one is carried in a 
fruit basket, one on a coolie's back, and lastly there is 
one who is proudly mounted on a bull ! If we follow 
them into the waiting-room in the Chemulpo Hospital, 
we find a crowd of infinite variety. Here is an old 
man with a white beard dressed in baggy white 
trousers, a beautiful long white coat, and padded socks ; 
his black shoes will have been left on the doorstep. 
His long hair will be strained up into a top-knot with 
a curious erection which supports his black hat, made 
of horsehair and shaped somewhat like a Welsh hat. 
He will probably be smoking a long pipe, much too 
long for him to light himself, signifying that he 
has some one to do it for him, generally either a son 
or a grandson, who always accompanies him and 
would never think of sitting down or smoking in the 
old man's presence. Side by side with the magnificent 


old gentleman there may be a coolie whose clothes, 
though once white, show very little sign of their 
original purity. He will have no long coat, only a 
short one : his hair, though drawn up in the same way, 
will only have a very dirty towel tied round it to keep 
stray hairs in place ; his shoes will be made of straw 
or string instead of leather. Should he also be an old 
man he will be treated with as much respect as the 
other, though he be unaccompanied and smoking only 
a short pipe. 

Boys are there of all ages — if unmarried, with their 
hair parted down the middle, well plastered with oil 
and plaited in a long greasy pigtail which leaves a 
mark all down the back of their white coats : if married, 
with their hair done up in a top-knot and with the 
usual hat. Men of thirty or more, if unmarried, still 
wear their hair in a pigtail, and are addressed as if 
they were children — whilst others, barely yet in their 
teens, if married have their hair up, wear a hat, and 
are addressed politely as " Mr. So and So ". 

In the other room, women old and young will be 
arriving with their heads completely covered with a 
long white sort of apron, fastening in front and show- 
ing very little more than one eye. This garment is 
removed on the doorstep when they find themselves 
in the presence of women and children only, and dis- 
closes a very neat head of hair, parted down the 
middle, well oiled, and twisted low on the neck round 
a large silver hairpin. Their dress is almost always 
white, though the younger women often wear figured 
silk bodices, but whether made of white cotton or 

st. luke's hospital, chemulpo (with corean houses in the foreground) 
main hospital building on the left, women's ward on the right 



coloured silk, the fastenings are generally plum- 
coloured strings — plum being the national colour. 
Their skirts, like a large apron tied round them with 
long strings, cover trousers, which are made of white 
calico, and thickly padded with wool in the winter, 
and which reach to the ankle. Those who can afford 
to do so, wear white or coloured leather shoes, and the 
poorer people have straw ones. 

Children there will be of course, they are dressed in 
bright colours — boys and girls alike wearing pigtails 
so that it is often difficult to tell them apart. The 
babies are strapped to their mothers' backs and look, 
when asleep, most uncomfortable, with their heads 
hanging over till you think they must surely drop off 

So the big crowds come thronging to the various 
dispensaries and hospitals and there is nothing unusual 
in an annual attendance of 15,000 to 40,000 out- 
patients. Sometimes the whole family accompanies 
the invalid and settles down in the hospital precincts 
after the embarrassing customs of the East, but they 
are ready to undertake the cooking in order that the 
patient's caste may be preserved and the food unpol- 
luted. Their hopeful faith is wonderful when we con- 
sider that they consent to operation under anaesthetic 
at the hands of men and women of a different race, and 
this confidence is sometimes almost pathetic. " I have 
told them to come back for me in a month," said one 
patient, " then you will have made me quite well and 
I shall go home happy." Or the father who brought 
his little blind child back to the doctor after the case 
had been pronounced incurable, for he felt certain that 


there was the power to heal and that by coming on a 
different day and pretending to be a different case he 
might find the doctor in a better temper and ready to 
exercise his power to restore the sight. Thus from far 
distances and through immeasurable discomforts these 
people turn their steps to the cheery little Mission 
Hospital of Hope — the leper hospital in the island of 
Kiushui, South Japan, is actually called the Kwaishur 
Byoin or the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope — 
and they have caught some reflection of that hopeful- 
ness in their lives. 

What if that hope be disappointed ? 

The tiny hospital at Rewari had to be closed for a 
time after the death of Dr. Marie Hayes, as the staff at 
Delhi were not sufficient to carry on the work. " Poor 
suffering women came to us repeatedly and begged 
for treatment ; it was useless to tell them there was no 
doctor, they counted on our desire to help, that was 
to them sufficient to establish a cure. One poor, sick 
village woman met me at my gate one evening. ' Oh, 
Miss Sahib,' she said, ' if you only knew what I am 
suffering you would certainly help me. I've come all 
this distance to see the doctor at Miss Sahib's hospital, 
only to find her gone and the doors closed. The 
doctor Miss Sahib and you are my only friends and 
now she is gone, so won't you please give me some 
medicine ?'" So from Borneo when Mrs. Dexter Allen 
broke down from overwork and was ordered home for 
a long rest. "Oh! Mrs.," a schoolboy wrote to her, 
"look indeed upon us left by you, because there is no 
one who can do for us as you did. For instance, my 




little brother Robert is very, very ill indeed and there 
is no one to give him medicine, and my other brother 
has had fever, but he is better now and I am glad of 
that, but I am very sad when I think of Robert. But 
they are not the only ones who have been ill — many 
people have had fever and some have died and some 
are living." " We in Banting," wrote another boy, " are 
very sad. Mrs. and Master are not there ; there is no 
doctor. I have had malarial fever for two months. 
I wanted to go to Master to ask for medicine and he 
is not on Mission Hill. If Mrs. comes back to Banting 
I shall be glad with an excessively great gladness." 



We are so proud of our civilization that we have al- 
most ceased to inquire into its origin and source. If 
we are confronted with difficulties we are apt to blame 
God Almighty, if we advance towards success we are 
ready enough to praise ourselves. Indeed, some fifty 
years ago, we had come to believe that all that was 
amiss with the health of the world came from the will 
of God, and that all prosperity was the result of our own 
evolution. Then it was that Charles Kingsley had to 
tell us with no uncertain voice that our boasted self- 
development had created the bad drains and insanitary 
properties that bred disease, and that, in contrast to this, 
the actual will of God lay in cleanliness, fresh air, and 
health. From the beginning, as we have seen, it has 
been made clear to Christians that their mission was 
to heal the body as well as the soul, and they set about 
the work in the best way that they could, making many 
mistakes, often nervous and tenacious of privilege and 
subject to superstition, but nevertheless holding on to 
the principle of healing in a world that had never before 
cared for the sick or helpless. It is true that our 
fingers were gradually loosened, as we believe by the 
Holy Spirit, from much that we had hitherto held 



fast, and medical science was specialized and perfected 
and brought forward into the light of a fuller know- 
ledge. But we cannot question that it has been given 
back (like a weapon that has been taken away to be 
finely tempered) in order that it may be used anew 
and more effectively in the service of Him in whom it 
had its origin. To what extent have the medical 
missions sought to use this knowledge for the good of 
mankind in the mass ? 

We have dwelt so long on individual work and in- 
dividual cases that we must turn now to the efforts 
made on behalf of whole communities. In England 
we almost forget the possibility of such scourges as 
plague, pestilence, and famine ; and reading not long 
ago of the appearance of plague in Suffolk we wondered 
with some curiosity, and some incredulity, that people 
should disturb themselves over a danger so remote. 
Chickenpox also has had to be made notifiable lest a 
case of smallpox should escape observation in a genera- 
tion of doctors who can have had no experience of the 
graver disease that once ravaged the country. But 
in the East all this is different. We have already 
noticed the insanitary and even filthy conditions of East- 
ern life and the indifference with which they are regarded. 
We pass on to consider their effect in regard to pestilence 
and to the efforts made in times of famine. A famine 
area can be so extensive that a population of twenty- 
two millions may be affected, as was the case in India 
in 1 896-7. Relief measures in view of such famines 
have long since passed from voluntary efforts to a 
Government department. The famine codes which 


have been compiled from forty years' experience pro- 
vide that the different provinces shall be kept in a state 
of continual preparedness, and that the Government 
shall always be fully informed of the prospects and 
conditions of the crops in the various agricultural dis- 
tricts. One result may be gathered from the famine 
years of 1899-1901 that followed swiftly on the famine 
of 1897, when the loss of life in British districts was 
estimated at a million, and that among the smaller 
populations under native rule at three millions. Every 
mission strained its slender resources to the utmost to 
meet the needs of the orphans and the destitute, and 
medical missions naturally bore their share of the 
burden. In 1907, when the crops failed in the 
Hazaribagh district, it was impossible to find sufficient 
hospital accommodation for the patients. " Wherever 
there was a space we put a patient, and in hot weather 
we had to put them out under the trees. The diet 
cards and charts were headed Tree No. 1, Tree No. 2. 
Some of the babies' arms and legs were like jointed 
crotchet hooks, and their wrinkled ape-like faces ex- 
pressed apathetic despair." 

In this case the famine was followed by an outbreak cf 
smallpox which carried off numbers of the people and 
must have entirely exhausted the mission staff. The 
Government was always ready with its large staff of 
public vaccinators, but the mission doctors were also 
kept busy. In one mission in China it is stated that 
25,000 people were vaccinated in one year, and in 
Borneo, Mrs. Dexter Allen, M.B., vaccinated over 
2000, and by so doing successfully stamped out a bad 


4 i 





* «s 


Outbreak of smallpox in her district. In Hazaribagh 
the mission carried out a campaign against the mos- 
quitoes with the object of diminishing malaria and 
attained some success. In Africa the medical missions 
have been eager to work with the London School of 
Tropical Medicine, and Dr. A. R. Cook and his brother, 
Dr. J. H. Cook of the Church Missionary Society have 
long been co-operating with the Government doctors 
in the C.M.S. Hospital at Mengo in experiments 
with an injection called "atoxyl," a preparation of 
arsenic used in the campaign against sleeping sickness. 
Cholera is ever present, and so long as the people of 
the East drink from the stagnant ponds and live in a 
squalor that defies description, it is likely enough to 
continue. It is unfortunately a disease that develops 
with great rapidity and unless help is immediately 
forthcoming it is of little avail. In the autumn of 
1908 cholera attacked the valley of Kalasapad. Hun- 
dreds of cholera pills were promptly manufactured in 
the small dispensary as they had proved to be of con- 
siderable value if taken immediately after the appear- 
ance of the first symptoms. Arrangements were made 
with the senior mission agents and village teachers 
for the distribution of the supply and the necessary 
instructions were given. These apparently simple 
remedies did much to allay panic and as a matter of 
fact the Christians suffered very little in the epidemic. 
This certainly witnesses to considerable initiative in a 
small medical mission the whole expenses of which, 
including the salaries of the hospital assistant and 
assistant compounder, only come to £66 a year. 


From New Guinea we can draw an illustration of 
work in a dysentery camp. Nurse Combley writes in 
a letter dated 20 April, 191 1, from Dogura: — 

"I have had a truly heavy time since my return 
from Lake Kamu. Dysentery has been rife in Wedau. 
The people put up camps between Konbara and 
Dogura on the flat, and there I nursed them. I never 
want to see dysentery again, there is no orderly, and 
isolation work is such rough, heavy work. I had got 
to my last patient when the storm (on 27 March) 
came. I was completely in the dark (and very dark 
it was) for hours with the patient, holding on to the 
thatched roof to keep him covered. It would have 
been impossible to have got up the hill to Dogura in 
the storm. At last we were blown out, and I decamped 
to another little place, where we had a few square 
inches of dry ground until daylight." A priest work- 
ing in the same part adds in another letter, "... daily 
also I have washed the sores of all who came ; it was 
a bit against the grain at first, but I had the materials 
and some slight knowledge, and so I did not think it 
right to refuse when they came and expected it ". 

Plague ! The very word conjures up the thought 
of the Black Death that swept over England in 1348, 
with a death-rate that is supposed to have reached 
four million. Or we seem to see the dead cart in 
1665, as it passed up and down the narrow streets 
with the accompanying cry, "Bring out your dead," 
followed by the furtive, terrified opening of the door 
that was marked by the red cross and the "Lord, 
have mercy ". 


But from these distant memories we pass to the 
plague as we know it to-day in India or China, a 
visitation that depopulates and ravages vast tracts of 
country until it is no wonder that the natives decide that 
it must be left like a fire to burn itself out. Yet it is 
being fought back inch by inch, step by step by men 
and women who have been ready to run every risk, and, 
if need be, to lay down their lives as victims of the 
plague for their fellow-men. Science and religion 
pride themselves equally in this noble army of martyrs, 
who have gone forth to their work as Ambroise Pare 
bade men go in 1 568 in his " Book of the Plague ". 

"Above all things they must remember that they 
are called of God to this vocation . . . therefore they 
should go to it with a high courage, free of all fear, 
having firm faith that God both gives and takes away 
our lives as and when it pleases Him : but, as I have 
said before, they must not neglect and despise preser- 
vative remedies, or we should be plainly guilty of in- 
gratitude since God has given them to us, having done 
all things for our good." 

Such men and women have their reward. 

From 1 902 to 1 904 plague was raging in Cawnpore 
chiefly owing to the insanitary condition of the native 
quarters, and Miss Wynne Edwards, M.D., the senior 
doctor, and Dr. Alice Marval, the junior doctor, were 
kept busily employed, and in the earlier days of the 
epidemic the proportion of recoveries was good. " As 
we go through the lanes," wrote Miss Marval, " we are 
constantly stopped and implored to go in and see some 
one who is ill. When we reach the house the friends 


and relations often fall down before us and touch our 
feet with their foreheads and clasp their hands and pray 
to us to ' give good medicine ' for they are poor people, 
they have only God in Heaven and us on earth and if 
we do this our name will be great from here to Luck- 
now. ... In one house there was a young man dying 
and delirious and his old parents kept imploring me 
to give " good medicine " to stop the delirium. It would 
be difficult to exaggerate the dirt and insanitariness of 
the houses, moreover the sick people are often not 
allowed to take any medicine until after the fever has 
lasted three days for fear of ' driving it in '." Miss 
Wynne Edwards also wrote: "Plague is very bad. 
Miss Marval happens to be at present outside doctor 
(they took it in turns so far as possible to do the 
' outside ' and ' inside ' work), and has to spend four or 
five hours a day in the city." Before these letters 
reached England the sad news had come of Miss 
Marval's death on 4 January, 1904, to be followed by 
that of Miss Walden the English nurse on 19 January, 
and a few days later by the deaths of Phulmani and 
Nancy, two native assistants. 

During the year 1905 there was a severe outbreak 
of plague in Delhi, when four of the native Christian 
nurses volunteered for plague duty, and thus proved 
the reality of their Faith by undertaking work that 
the lowest caste can only be made to do under com- 

In the spring of 1907 there was another bad out- 
break in Delhi. "There can hardly be anything 
more depressing," wrote Miss Miiller, " than living 


in a plague-stricken city. The streets are almost 
entirely deserted, rows and rows of houses are shut up, 
and all day long, till one's heart and ears ache with the 
sound, the funeral cry of the Hindus is heard as they 
carry their dead down to the river. . . . From long 
custom it has become a prerogative of the poor and 
low caste to claim the clothes and even the bed in 
which their higher-caste neighbours happen to die. 
In addition to being infected they are usually in an 
incredibly filthy condition, so that it is not surprising 
that, with other causes, it is so difficult to deal with 
epidemics in India. . . . For more than two months 
we went out every day visiting the poor sufferers. . . . 
We were usually hard at work for four or five hours, 
going from hut to hut, washing and cleaning up the 
sick, attending to the babies, administering medicines, 
leaving behind with much explanation enough for 
the next twenty-four hours, arranging for food and 
milk, beseeching the people to bring out their filthy 
accumulation of rags, burning them ourselves, disin- 
fecting their houses, haranguing and cajoling them to 
come and be inoculated, and often returning home with 
some in the carriage. The sorrow and suffering and 
general helplessness which one saw were truly heart- 
rending ; all business was at a standstill, no wages 
could be earned, for those who were well were attend- 
ing to those who were ill, themselves to become victims 
very likely in a day or two.'' 

The history of the plague in Manchuria is of such 
recent interest that we may quote rather fully from 
Dr. Aspland's account of his experiences. He had 


been working for some time at a hospital which the 
S.P.G. helped to support, and when the call came for 
volunteers he left Peking and journeyed by rail to 
Harbin, where the Chinese Government had been 
forced to take action under threat of political interfer- 
ence from Russia. The medical college of Peking 
had been appealed to and three of the staff promptly 
volunteered for work. 

Dr. Aspland writes : — 

"My experience commenced after the epidemic had 
already broken out in the Chinese city of Harbin, and 
although there had been deaths daily for over two 
months, the death-rate had not exceeded 200 a day 
until about the middle of January. . . . After a day 
or two spent in the purchase of heavy clothing, etc. 
(the temperature in January is considerably below zero) 
we settled down in our new home, which consisted of 
a third-class Siberian railway-car, uncushioned and 
bare, but thereby more sanitary and more easily disin- 
fected. Our car was on a siding about half a mile 
from the Chinese city. It was with something of the 
feeling of a man going into action for the first time 
that I made my way to our chief inspecting station in 
the centre of the city. At that time no military cordon 
had been formed, and the duties of the police were only 
feebly carried out, so that, as strangers, we were not 
made to show passes. As we neared the city we 
saw a dead man by the roadside ; a little further on, 
another ; a little later, a man leaning against the 
side of a house coughing up bloody expectoration, 
and, as we found out, such a case would be dead in 




a few hours. Inside the city most of the shops were 
closed, and the usually crowded thoroughfares were 
almost empty, except for those engaged in plague 
work. . . . 

" The anti-plague organization had, up to this time, 
been entirely in the hands of the local officials and 
Chinese quacks, who were reporting great cures from 
needling and blood-letting ; the death-rate all the time 
was mounting up by leaps and bounds, so that the 
daily total on both sides of the railway was 300. With 
us arrived about twenty Chinese doctors, trained in 
Western medicine, and thirty senior students from our 
medical colleges. The head of the bureau was Dr. 
Wu, a Cambridge man and a British subject, and in 
his absence I assumed control. The Government sent 
up 1 100 soldiers, whom we used to establish a cordon 
round the entire city, and our 800 police were used to 
form a cordon round the four sections into which the 
city was divided. By a system of badges and passes 
no person was allowed to go from one station to an- 
other. With soldiers, police, and 600 sanitary coolies, 
we were enabled, when work was in full swing, to visit 
every house in the city daily, and search for sick and 
dead. Each of the four sections had its disinfecting 
station, sanitary station, and plague hospital, whilst 
outside the city was the large quarantine station. Our 
quarantine station consisted of a hundred railway 
trucks, each capable of holding about twenty 'con- 
tacts,' fitted with wooden bunks and heated with a 
central stove. Further, we had a suspect hospital for 
thirty people, a plague hospital for a similar number, 


a disinfecting building, besides kitchens and adminis- 
trative buildings for our crowd which some days num- 
bered about 1800. The whole of this number had 
to be examined daily by us two doctors and our five 
students, and we can congratulate ourselves that our 
death-rate was never more than thirty a day, and our 
total deaths not more than 5 per cent. In pneumonic 
plague the infection is carried by coughing, it being 
necessary to take the infective material into the lungs, 
and after an incubation of from two to five days, there 
is bloody expectoration, and death follows in not more 
than twenty-four hours. A great many of the septi- 
cemic cases, who had no cough or lung affection, would 
be quite well, laughing and talking, when we made our 
rounds in the morning, and in the evening would be 
on the dead heap. We have never known a single re- 
covery, and in hundreds of cases the rapidity of the 
disease was astounding. 

" Finding it impossible to dig graves, because of the 
severe frost, we had finally to burn the bodies. A 
large pit twenty feet square, and ten feet deep was 
blasted with dynamite, and into this about 400 bodies, 
some in coffins and others not, would be piled ; then, 
when sprayed with about forty gallons of paraffin, 
they burned rapidly and completely to ashes. The 
simplicity of the process can be judged by the fact that 
we burnt over 3000 in one day. The epidemic is now 
over and the death roll was only 60,000 instead of 
devastating, as we had feared, the millions of North 
China." Dr. Aspland attended the International 
Plague Conference at Mukden where nearly fifty dele- 


gates from different countries studied the problems 
of pneumonic plague for over a month, and he had the 
honour of acting as delegate for China, and of being 
appointed the Medical Secretary of the Conference, 
while his work at Harbin was alluded to in glowing 
terms in a speech from the throne. 

Besides the Russian and Chinese doctors, the hospi- 
tal assistants and coolies who lost their lives in this 
epidemic, the United Free Church of Scotland lost a 
brilliant young medical missionary, Dr. A. F. Jackson. 
The Chinese Viceroy, Hsi Liang, made a speech at the 
memorial service held in Mukden in grateful recogni- 
tion of Dr. Jackson's work. 

" He went forth to help us in our fight ; daily where 
the pestilence lay thickest, amidst the groans of the 
dying, he struggled to ease the stricken, to find medicine 
to stay the evil. Worn by his efforts the pestilence 
seized upon him, and took him from us long ere his time. 
. . . O spirit of Dr. Jackson, we pray you to intercede 
for the twenty million people in Manchuria and ask the 
Lord of Heaven to take away this pestilence so that 
we may once more lay our heads in peace upon our 
pillows. In life you were brave, in death you are an 
exalted spirit. Noble spirit who sacrificed your life for 
us, help us still and look down in kindness upon us all." 

The latest medical work undertaken by Dr. Aspland 
has been in the Chinese revolution. He left Peking 
with his wife to undertake Red Cross work amongst 
the Imperial troops, but as their wounded were being 
well cared for in Hankow he crossed the Wuchang 
river to attend the revolutionary force. " Our hospital 


is an industrial institute and in it we have 250 wounded, 
and a daily attendance of about a hundred who come 
to be dressed, but are not bad enough to be taken in. 
Oh ! the misery of war . . . the only thing we can 
say is that we are doing the best we can. Each 
patient is lying in his clothes just as he left the battle- 
field. . . . Some have never taken their puttees off, 
and though in bed for a month there is no arrange- 
ment for bathing and washing ; and sometimes in the 
wards, rising above the odours necessarily accompany- 
ing so many suppurating wounds, is the dominating 
one of chickens, ducks, and pork being roasted over a 
charcoal brazier by some kind friend for a wounded 
relation or patriot." 

After this experience with the revolutionaries Dr. 
Aspland was again transferred to the Imperial forces. 

"The condition of the wounded here is much 
worse than at Wuchang, for, as it is here more of the 
nature of guerilla warfare, the modern bullet is not 
used, but a big lead one which makes ghastly wounds. 
Further, in a neighbourhood like this, where beggars 
are so numerous, a man with an amputated arm or 
leg will almost invariably starve ; the patients refuse 
amputation, and, after weeks of laborious dressings 
and attendance, die of prolonged suppuration and 
exhaustion. So far we are safe, and trust to continue 
so, but have been a little uneasy because fifty miles 
from here the brigands entered a Red Cross hospital, 
robbed it, and shot three patients. But we are still 
barricaded, and nothing but a very determined force 
could get in." 



At the outbreak of the South African War, Dr. 
Booth (afterwards Dean of Umtata), a qualified doctor, 
started ambulance classes for the Indian Community 
in Durban, being helped in this by Mr. Gandhi, the 
well-known Hindu barrister. When the Government 
raised an Indian Bearer corps of 600 coolies they were 
anxious to find men who were capable of taking com- 
mand and who could speak both English and Hindus- 
tanee. This was work for which the ambulance class 
proved specially suited, and they volunteered for service 
with Dr. Booth as their medical officer, only stipulating 
that they should receive no pay. They were rewarded 
with the Queen's medal with clasps for services rendered 
at Colenso and Spion Kop. 

In many cases the missionary has been able to in- 
augurate sanitary reform ; the Rev. W. L. Beard of 
the American Board in Foochow obtained permission 
to start a street cleaning corps, and during a visitation 
of plague at Amoy the native Christians cleansed and 
disinfected their own homes and prepared leaflets for 
distribution that others might follow their example. 
Perhaps this is a cause of the remarkable immunity of 
the Christians in times of epidemic as compared with 
other natives. This is noticed in all mission stations, 
so that a Turkish official once exclaimed, " How is it, 
O ye Christians; has God spread His tent over you 
that you are spared?" In a recent official Health 
Report from Bombay the mortality among low caste 
Hindus and Mohammedans are 52-95 and 45 - 93 per 
1000, among native Christians only 875. This seems 
truly to bear out by unmistakable evidence that the 


Christian Faith does allay fear, depression, and hope- 
lessness and marks an undeniable advance in the 
health of the community. But if such an advance 
is to be maintained, it must be followed by careful, 
systematic, and Christian training. 



THE most important part of the work of the medical 
missionary lies in the training of native assistants 
whether as doctors, compounders, anaesthetists, or 
nurses, for the object of the missionary must be to 
leave a native school of medicine when eventually 
western help may be withdrawn. It has not always 
been easy for the medical missionaries to carry out their 
own ideals and theory of training, for the overworked 
doctor of a mission station is so beset by patients, 
sick calls, and the need for immediate operations that 
he has no spare time for lectures or demonstrations. 
Yet, as Dr. Aspland reminds us, it is essential that 
missions should take a principal part in this work in 
order to maintain the highest ideals of self-sacrifice as 
well as those of the latest modern research and technical 
skill, so that the medical service may be founded on a 
tradition that is God-fearing, pure, and single-hearted. 
It is well to think of what such a tradition has meant 
in England, and we may contrast it with the fact that 
Mrs. Bishop was asked no less than 200 times during 
her travels for drugs to injure a favourite wife by 
others in the harem. 



Dr. Aspland writes : " If you want to help China, 
now is the time. The rapid advance of all kinds of 
science, introduced by various nations, unassociated 
with any religious teaching, makes us fear that China 
may develop some of the good qualities of modern 
civilization without the inner spiritual life, in which case 
her civilization will be dead and empty. The responsi- 
bility rests with missions. At present ' medicine ' is 
the only art associated with distinctly religious and 
missionary influence, and even this is threatened. Tre- 
mendous efforts are being made by other missionary 
bodies to keep this one door open, so that, by the 
establishment of medical schools, we can be assured 
that the Chinese doctors of the future shall be taught 
their profession from a standard far above that of 
commercialism. ' Know ye not that your body is the 
Temple of the Holy Ghost? ' " 

It is unlikely that any one missionary society could 
found and endow such a medical school as Dr. 
Aspland indicates, but a movement has already been 
made to group various societies together for this pur- 
pose. Many qualifications are now required to gain 
Government recognition and to keep up the prestige 
of teaching, so that there must be a large and com- 
petent staff, sufficient and well-equipped laboratories, 
and a continuity that will remain unbroken notwith- 
standing the furloughs, the outlying and district cases, 
and the possibilities of personal ill-health. The C.M.S. 
have already grouped the various branches of their own 
work in the Medical School at Foochow, but the 
college that at present most nearly approximates to 


the standard aimed at is the Union Medical College in 
Peking. It was originally started by the American 
Board, the American Presbyterians and the London 
Missionary Society, and it has since been joined by the 
North China Mission of the English Church and the 
Medical Missionary Association of London. It con- 
sists of two large buildings, one containing class-rooms, 
laboratories and so forth, and the other comprising 
the students' dormitories ; it is hoped that a hospital 
and dispensary may soon be added. There are fourteen 
members of the Faculty and eight lecturers ; Dr. 
Aspland is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at 
the college. 

The American Church opened a medical school in 
Shanghai and this has been taken over by the 
Harvard University Medical School and will aim at 
teaching Hygiene and Public Health, and members of 
the staff have been drawn from the medical missions. 
This method of working in a central school is not un- 
known to us at home, for it has been employed by 
those London Hospitals who do not possess a large 
medical school of their own. Hostels and residential 
colleges could develop round such a central school, 
where the strong personal influence and the religious 
teaching, which is of the utmost importance, would 
not be wanting; but in any case the atmosphere of 
the school itself would be absolutely Christian, as 
would the principles, the method, and the inspiration 
of the work. 

This suffices to illustrate a movement that has 
taken effect at Beirut and in India, as well as in China, 


and which should help more than anything else in 
the strengthening, recognition, and usefulness of the 
medical missions. 

Christians are already taking a place out of all pro- 
portion to their numbers in educational and medical 
work. In June, 1 908, the first Corean doctors took their 
degrees at the Severance Hospital Medical College 
in Seoul, and all were Christians ; and it is an in- 
teresting fact that within eleven years of the Enabling 
Act that admitted the first Englishwomen to medical 
degrees, a Chinese Christian lady, Miss You Me Kying, 
had entered the Women's Medical School in New 
York and had graduated at the head of her class. 
Another Chinese Christian lady, Dr. Hii King Eng, 
was asked in 1899 to accept the position of physician 
to the household of His Excellency Li Hung Chang ; 
her skill was so great that she was known throughout 
China as " the Miracle Lady ". The first Indian lady 
to enter the medical profession was also a Chris- 
tian, Mrs. Satthianadhan, better known perhaps as 
Krupabai ; and for that matter the first Indian women 
to graduate in arts and law have also been Christians. 

The training of nurses must not be overlooked, and 
it is by no means easy to get the steady habits of 
regular work into the minds of girls who have hitherto 
only been brought up with a view to very early 
marriage. In most hospitals the nurses are under 
agreement to stay for a certain term of years if they 
are considered suitable. At the end of the term they 
usually marry and the hospital authorities must con- 
tent themselves with the thought that they will found 


purer, cleaner, and healthier homes and be more useful 
and dependable wives and mothers on account of their 

Dr. Dawson from St. Catharine's, Cawnpore, writes 
that they come to the hospital at the mature age of 
sixteen and are mere school-girls with no idea of what 
nursing means, yet in two years the English nurses 
are often able to make sensible women and trained 
nurses out of them. They are a constant source of 
anxiety, yet their different characters and their unex- 
pected ways of developing and an unlooked-for aptitude 
for their work adds much to the interest of hospital 
life. Very few of them take any pleasure in the theo- 
retical part of their work, but there are of course excep- 
tions. One dispenser gave herself up entirely to the 
study of pharmacy, and for a whole year she could 
scarcely be separated from a copy of the "British 
Pharmacopoeia," even keeping the large red book under 
her pillow at night. At the end of that time she was 
found in great distress because she had learnt it all, and 
was weeping like Alexander that there was nothing 
more to conquer. However the kindly authorities 
suggested that she should turn her attention to learning 
English, of which she knew not a word, and the little 
nurse was comforted. In contras t to this, another young 
nurse from the same hospital seemed unable to learn 
anything during her first six months, but developed 
an extraordinary love and attraction for pets of all 
descriptions which she always carried about with her. 
Young squirrels and birds would peep out from her 
garments in the most disconcerting manner, kittens 


doomed to death had a way of disappearing into secret 
hiding-places until all danger was over, when they would 
reappear to add to the crowd of unwished-for animals 
already attached to the hospital. 

A description from St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Karnal, 
will show us how the most unlikely material may be 
used for the glory of God and for the good of their fellow- 
creatures. " Now let us turn to watch the nurse who is 
teaching a young probationer how to lift a crippled 
girl. She has a quiet face, seamed and lined, but 
hardly attractive ; but she is the mainstay of the 
hospital staff, ready for any emergency and eager to 
take upon herself the most arduous tasks and the most 
menial duties. ' Gently Premi ! ' she is saying, ' if 
you hurry you will hurt her. So ! that is better,' — then 
to the patient : ' How do I know so well what to do ? 
I was once ill like you in hospital. Then God cured 
me, body and soul, and taught me to know and love 
Himself. Now He lets me spend my days in helping 
others.' True ! for ten years ago she was an ignorant 
Brahmin villager, carried into the hospital crippled by 
rheumatism. Now she is head nurse, one of the most 
faithful witnesses for Christ in the whole congregation, 
loved and respected throughout the city. Premi, the 
probationer, was once a little outcast child, a famine 
orphan ; now she is on her way to become a useful 
and self-supporting Christian woman." 

From St. Luke's Hospital, Chemulpo, we learn some- 
thing of the difficulty of nursing in a hospital that 
has not been adequately staffed with European nurses. 
Night work is a special difficulty as it does not follow 





that the native nurse will be prepared to stay awake all 
night, even if he is allowed to sleep by day, and he 
will willingly accept the post and the responsibility and 
sleep peacefully until he is found out. As a rule 
whenever there is a patient requiring a great deal of 
attention a friend will stay with him through the night, 
and if need arise he can call the boy who sleeps in 
the ward and send him to fetch the doctor. The idea 
of women nurses for the men's ward was quite op- 
posed to native ideas, and the prejudice has only been 
gradually overcome. 

Besides the work of training and teaching which is 
extending rapidly wherever men and money are forth- 
coming, the missionary associations have been forward 
in translating and preparing medical literature. In 
1889, for instance, a medical handbook was published 
for the Karens in their own language under the direc- 
tion of Dr. Strachan, Bishop of Rangoon, a qualified 
doctor. The Chinese Medical Missionary Association 
is active in calling meetings in the various branches 
for discussion of medical and surgical problems and 
questions of administration, and for the comparison of 
experience. They have published tracts and pamphlets 
on sanitation, on the treatment of epidemic disease, and 
on the care of health and kindred subjects, which have 
been widely distributed especially during outbreaks of 
illness; and they have lately compiled an English- 
Chinese medical dictionary containing 1 5,000 medical 
terms, the names of diseases and various other medical 
and surgical subjects. This association which repre- 
sents a department of Christian service in which 


theological divisions are not felt, would extend the 
work of translation and the preparation of Chinese 
medical books only that it is difficult to set apart busy 
men for such work and to find the necessary funds. It is 
largely on this account that the missionaries have been 
unable to do much research work in the investigation 
of local illness and epidemics. When we learn that 
the C.M.S. medical missions, scattered as they are in 
various parts of the world, have an annual attendance 
of 1,162,972 patients and a staff of only ninety doctors 
— men and women — and but fifty-six English nurses, 
we may realize that there is not much opportunity for 
anything beyond the arduous work of active practice. 
The S.P.G. has a considerably smaller staff consisting 
of thirty-three doctors and fifteen English nurses, but 
these, with the medical missions of the University 
Mission to Central Africa, and the Church of England 
Zenana Missionary Society, represent the largest 
medical mission sent into the field by any one com- 

These are some of the foundations that are being 
laid with such patience and self-effacement by the 
medical missionaries. Their time seems often wasted 
by the much serving of tables, and a description given 
by Dr. Livingstone, one of the greatest of medical mis- 
sionaries, of all that is expected of the harassed and 
overworked doctor, may not be inaptly applied to his 

" A Jack-of-all-trades, he is building houses and 
schools, cultivating gardens, scheming in every manner 
to get water, which in the remarkable drought of the 


season becomes scarcer and scarcer ; as a missionary 
he is holding meetings every other night, preaching on 
Sundays, and taking such other opportunities as he 
can find to gain the people to Christ ; as a medical 
man he is dealing with the more difficult cases of 
disease, those which baffle the native doctors; as a 
man of science he is taking observations, collecting 
specimens, thinking out geographical, geological, 
meteorological and other problems bearing on the 
structure and condition of the continent ; as a mis- 
sionary statesman he is planning how the actual force 
might be disposed of to most advantage, and is looking 
round in this direction and in that, over hundreds of 
miles, for openings for native agents ; and to promote 
these objects he is writing long letters to the Direc- 
tors, to the ' Missionary Chronicle,' to the ' British 
Banner,' to private friends, to anyone likely to take 
an interest in his places." 

And to all these studies there must be added the 
necessity of learning not only one new language but 
the many dialects in order that the common people 
may hear and understand. 

And these men turning their hands thus willingly 
to humble tasks are, as Sir F. Champneys, M.D., 
F.R.C.P., has told us, "not men who found a difficulty 
in passing their examinations, or men who had wasted 
their time, or men of no particular force in the 
hospital, . . . but prizemen, men who were interested 
in everything they saw and did ". 



The first medical missionary of the Church of Eng- 
land was the Rev. F. T. McDougall, Fellow of the 
Royal College of Surgeons, afterwards Bishop of 
Labuanand Sarawak, who landed in Borneo in 1848. 
He quickly recognized the value of medicine in 
missionary work. " If I had not had the excuse of 
my medical capacity, I should never have been able 
to get into the people's houses and gain their con- 
fidence as I have done." There, amid the mixed 
population of Dyaks, Malays, and Chinese, the work 
has gone on but not without grave reverses for lack 
of men and money. There are two races of the 
Dyaks, the Sea Dyaks who live by fishing near the 
sea or on the banks of the rivers, and the Land Dyaks 
further up in the interior of the country. They are 
short, wiry little people, capable of enduring much 
fatigue and they live in long houses raised from the 
ground by poles in which several families, sometimes 
as many as thirty or forty, congregate under the head- 
ship of one man. In 1904 Mrs. Dexter Allen, M.B., 
started work at Banting in the jungle, almost on the 
borders of Dutch Borneo, and on the Batang Lupar 



River. The mission station is on a hill 200 feet 
high, and as it is reached by a steep path that ends 
in a 30-foot ladder up the face of the rock, it is not 
very easy of access, especially for invalids who are more 
or less seriously ill. In 1905 the Rajah authorized the 
building of a cottage hospital, and it was duly built of 
iron-wood tarred outside and whitewashed inside. 
"The Dyaks are very pleased with it," wrote Mrs. 
Dexter Allen when it was first opened ; " already it 
has five inmates, and we know that many people will 
come when they hear there is a building with every 
convenience for them. It is all crudely simple, but 
as they sleep on the floor and bring their own mats 
with them, very little furniture is required." There, 
amid the luxuriant trees, the quiet work of healing 
goes on, and the natives gather round the " black but 
comely" little house, the men, with their big hats, or 
bright-coloured handkerchiefs tied turban-wise round 
their heads, chewing the betel nut which is part of a 
Dyak's equipment and is kept in a small pouch round 
his neck ; the women, gay with brass ornaments, and 
usually hatless unless they have been working in the 
rice fields. 

From Borneo to South Africa is a far cry, but not 
long after the medical mission was started in Borneo 
the Rev. H. Callaway, a fully qualified doctor, went 
to South Africa and soon found ample opportunity for 
exercising his medical knowledge. Like Dr. McDougall 
he was also destined to continue his work as Bishop of 
the diocese, and very soon after his promotion to the 
newly-formed see of St. John's, Kaffraria, he built a 



small hospital at Umtata. Umtata is nearly 1400 
feet above sea level, and another 1400 feet above 
it, some fifteen miles distant, we come to Tsolo, a 
small village of about 1 50 people mostly European 
but forming with the outlying districts a good centre 
for work among the Pondomisi. It lies high on the 
veld, rough green grass all around and innumerable 
sheep and goats scattered over the sunny downs. 
Here and there the wood smoke from some alfresco 
feast rises in the clear air, or some little black children 
innocent of all clothing scamper across the open, or 
again the black and white crows rise against the 
wonderful blue sky and a tall stork flaps slowly away 
with red legs and bill shining in the sun. Nine miles 
to the south-west we come to the mission of St. 
Cuthbert's, which lies among the hills, in a cup- 
like hollow of the downs with its beautiful church 
built and served by the Cowley Fathers. There, amid 
groves of black wattle, eucalyptus, fig, apple, quince, 
orange and lemon trees, we find St. Lucy's Hospital with 
its resident doctor, Dr. McMurtrie, and the Sisters of St. 
Mary's Community, Wantage, who, with two trained 
nurses, undertake the nursing. This hospital receives 
grants from the S.P.G. 

In such pleasant surroundings it seems as if no one 
could be ill, but the eight or ten beds are in constant 
use, and now and again in an epidemic of " black fever " 
space is badly needed. On New Year's Day, 1 910, 
an ox was numbered among the patients, the owner 
having brought it in some distress to be operated on 
for tumour in the head. The man would take no 


refusal and the operation was duly performed under 
chloroform with such success that the animal trotted 
home of its own accord on the following day — al- 
together an unique experience in the work of a medical 

Tsolo and St. Cuthbert's pass from our vision like a 
dissolving view and are replaced by one of the oldest 
S.P.G. Zenana Hospitals, St. Stephen's, Delhi. This 
owes its origin to the faithful efforts of Priscilla Winter, 
wife of an S.P.G. missionary, who, from 1863 onwards, 
used to distribute simple remedies to the poor around 
her and to nurse them through epidemics of fever and 
cholera. Three years after her death in 1881 the 
foundation stone of a permanent hospital was laid by 
H.R.H. the Duchess of Connaught. The site chosen 
was an important one, as the frontage was on the 
Chandni Chauk, the busy thoroughfare that leads from 
the Lahore Gate to the Palace. But it was not really 
suitable for hospital work as the site was very much 
cramped, necessitating a building of three storeys with 
steep and awkward staircases, beside being very noisy. 
The Hindu Temple next door was sufficiently disturb- 
ing, every night and morning the god had to be put to 
sleep and awakened, and although it seemed to wake 
without very much trouble it took an unconscionable 
time going to sleep. Sometimes the foghorns, drums, 
bells, whistles, and lutes would be making merry from 
6 p.m. till 1 a.m., by which time if the god slept, 
the doctors and patients were usually wide awake. 

It was a great relief when the site was sold and 
the hospital removed to another site, offered by the 


Government just outside the city walls. The admir- 
able new buildings were opened in 1906 with ac- 
commodation for over fifty patients, an operating 
theatre and out-patients' dispensary, a wing for the 
nursing staff being added later. The chapel forms a 
connecting link between this main building and the 
bungalow for the medical staff. Two wards com- 
memorate Mrs. Winter and Dr. Marie Hayes ; the latter 
died from pneumonic plague in 1908, contracted from 
one of the patients who had bitten her finger whilst 
she was attending her. A third ward is named after 
Dr. Annie Harding who died of dysentery. There are 
now six lady doctors and four English and a number of 
native nurses on the staff of St. Stephen's, Delhi, who 
also have charge of the hospitals at Karnal and Rewari. 
Karnal, on the railway between Delhi and Simla, is a 
typical country town of North India numbering 25,000 
inhabitants who crowd the tall brick and stucco houses 
in the crooked streets, houses that seem only able to 
stand up because they are so closely packed together. 
Dr. Marcia Fishe thus described Karnal : " The city is 
said to contain 20,000 people and 26,000 head of cattle. 
About the former I am not sure, but I have met practi- 
cally all of the latter when bicycling home after sunset 
without a lamp. They troop out in the morning to 
feed and back in the evening to sleep with their 
owners. It is difficult enough to bicycle in the crowded 
streets, and the only chance of getting along is to cry 
out ' bachho bachho anewala ' (O man coming towards 
me) or 'janewala' (O man going from me) or 'baki- 
wala, bailwala ' (cow-driver, goat-driver) as occasion re- 


quires." Karnal is a walled city, and beyond there is a 
growing suburb of shops and houses for working people, 
the large market-place is always busy with many com- 
ings and goings from the country, and is filled with 
camel carts and ekkas. At one corner there is a large 
enclosure surrounded by massive walls like a fortress, 
it is approached by a picturesque gateway and on the 
inner side there are many small huts and travellers' 
rooms built into the wall. This is the ancient inn or 
" serai," built many hundreds of years ago when Karnal 
was an important city. It may still be a shelter in 
time of need and in one sense it is that already, for 
St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the first part of which was 
finished in 1908, has been built within the walls taking 
the place of the old hospital which had been practically 
destroyed by earthquake in 1905. This disaster had 
indeed disheartened the mission, but immediately after 
the earthquake the Easter mail brought a letter from a 
servant girl in England enclosing a postal order for a 
shilling, and this humble and unsought gift came as a 
message of hope and formed the nucleus for the ^3000 
that was afterwards raised. The following account of 
the move into the new hospital was written by Dr. 
Scott in the " Delhi Mission News " :— 

" I have been through many moves in England but 
this one in India beats them all. It was very simple 
and astonishingly cheap, expenses under £1. One 
low cart with outsides drawn by the most patient pair 
of bullocks imaginable (the only beings quite unruffled 
by the whole transaction) took our furniture from the 
old to the new place, some half dozen men loading at 


one end, walking along by the cart and unloading at 
the other. Four whole days this one cart went back- 
wards and forwards, sometimes making only four 
journeys, sometimes six in the day, the number depend- 
ing on whether any other vehicle was encountered in 
the narrow streets or not. To pass one another was 
impossible, so the animals had to be unyoked, and the 
cart pushed back and up the first side-alley. This 
need not have delayed matters more than twenty 
minutes, but it usually meant more than an hour, for 
a long altercation must be carried on first by the re- 
spective drivers as to which cart should be moved 
back. That settled, more amicable talk ensues, and 
also the inevitable hookah is produced and passed 
round. Then the change is made, everybody in the 
street standing by to watch, all suggesting and ex- 
horting, encouraging and commiserating by turns as 
they think best. Our luggage at last wends its slow, 
bumpy way down the street, more than one table and 
chair losing its legs in transit — the corners being so 
sharp and the walls so overhanging. By Monday 
(the day before the opening) we had the doctor's 
house fairly straight, and were as much forward with 
the hospital as possible. . . . Monday was a day to 
remember. Quite a large number of out-patients had 
to be seen for the last time in the old yard. Mean- 
while the in-patients were deposited on old and make- 
shift beds, the good ones being sent down in the cart 
and put ready in the wards to receive their respective 
inmates. Then processions were formed of patients 
in carriages, patients on stretchers, patients with 

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babies and patients without. Then doctor and sister 
and nurses, all with arms full of miscellaneous articles. 
Each patient was armed with her own drinking vessel, 
food-plate and bowl, comb and medicine-bottle. And 
so the move was made. Darkness fell as we got our 
last patient into bed in the new place, and our visitors 
began to arrive from Delhi for the morrow's opening 
ceremony. . . . Every one was most interested in 
and enthusiastic about the place, its arrangements, 
contrivances, the fresh cleanness of everything and the 
happy-looking nurses and patients in their new clothes. 

"One Mohammedan patient remarked quite spon- 
taneously, 'Well, I believed I should see paradise 
when I died, but here I see it alive '." 

St. Catharine's Hospital, Cawnpore, presents an at- 
tractive frontage to the street ; it is a handsome two- 
storied building on one of the main thoroughfares out- 
side the city, and deep flower-beds have been made 
inside the walls flanking the great iron gate, through 
which one may catch a glimpse of the grass and trees 
within, while the verandah is covered with bright 
creepers. The doorkeeper has strict orders never to 
admit a man unless with very special permission, for 
" purdah " is strictly observed. The hospital buildings 
are connected with wide verandahs which are indeed 
needed as a protection from the hot sun, and from the 
terrific rains in the monsoon. Then it seems as if a 
water-spout were descending from the sky turning all 
the open spaces into swamps and ponds to the huge 
delight of the innumerable small children who have to 
be looked after during "mother's" illness. They en- 

ro 4 The claim Of suffering 

joy this improvised bathing infinitely more than the 
bath that is made conditional to their admission into 
the hospital, and which usually entails a vigorous 
amount of howling and resistance. The wards as in 
Delhi bear their loving witness to those who have 
laid down their lives in the service of our Lord. Sir 
William Cooper one of the English residents gave the 
new buildings for the chapel and isolation ward in 
memory of Dr. Alice Marval, Miss Elizabeth Walden, 
and the two native assistants who lost their lives in the 
plague of 1905, and an operating theatre was added 
as a special memorial to Dr. Marval by her friends 
and the members of the G.F.S. who had contributed 
to her support. The staff at the present moment con- 
sists of three lady doctors (including one for itinerating 
work), two English and several native nurses. 

Chemulpo. — The name is still associated in our minds 
with the Russian-Japanese War, and it was evident that 
St. Luke's Hospital was serving a worthy purpose when 
it was turned into a hospital for the wounded Russian 
soldiers by the Japanese Red Cross Society, more 
especially as it had been originally built by Bishop 
Corfe with funds subscribed by friends in our own 
Royal Navy. It was unfortunate that at this critical 
time there was no medical missionary in charge of the 
hospital, but we can at least feel that our building was 
of service. Come up the winding narrow lanes of 
the old Corean town, for the foreign quarter lies on 
the other side of St. Luke's, and there on the side 
of the hill is the imposing "Tai Moon "or entrance 
gate, a double door of wood hung in such a manner 

ttOSflTALS ios 

as to produce the maximum amount of squeaking. 
The low thatched houses seem to creep up to the 
gate like beggars at the door asking for help, and help 
indeed there is for all behind the gateway. The 
hospital is built on a long and narrow strip of ground 
and forms three sides of an oblong. There is the men's 
ward named in memory of Dr. Landis the first S.P.G. 
medical missionary in Chemulpo, who used to entertain 
the patients as his guests in true Corean fashion just 
as Dr. Laws still does in Chin Chun. There is another 
men's ward and an operating theatre as a memorial to 
Bishop Corfe, the founder of the hospital and first 
Bishop of the Diocese. A women's ward was added 
in 1908, with a store-room and laundry tucked con- 
veniently underneath, an arrangement made possible 
by the different ground levels. The wards are simply 
furnished to meet Corean taste, the bed made of 
boards is raised on trestles with a straw mattress and 
a sawdust pillow, and if the pillow is not stuffed very 
tightly the patient will tie knots in the cover to make 
it harder. Every patient is allowed two portions of 
rice a day, but each portion would be sufficient for 
three ordinary people ; and when the pickled cabbage 
and turnip are being cooked in the ward to add relish 
to the rice it is distinctly preferable to stay outside. 
St. Luke's had the honour of tending Bishop Turner 
for the seven weeks before his death ; he was brought 
there utterly exhausted from overwork, and though 
several of the doctors from Seoul came over to see if 
more could be done he had not the strength to rally, 
and so fell asleep in Christ. 


Not far from the town of Ping Yin, in North China, 
and standing but little back from the road, there is the 
memorial to Sydney Brooks, deacon, the first martyr 
to fall in the dreadful Boxer Rising of 1 899. He was 
hastening back to rejoin Mr. Matthews who was, as 
he knew, alone and in great danger, when he himself 
fell into the hands of the Boxers, who wounded him in 
many places, stripped him of some of his clothes, and 
dragged him from place to place until at last he fainted 
from exhaustion and loss of blood. It was intensely 
cold, and as he lay worn out with hunger and barely con- 
scious, he heard his captors discussing his death. As 
he had been unbound he managed to slip away in the 
vain endeavour to escape, but was recaptured and be- 
headed, his body being cast into a ravine near by. 
Mr. Matthews was able to persuade the magistrate to 
recover the body, and with his own hands he prepared 
it for burial, then, notwithstanding the imminent 
danger, it was committed to the grave, and all the 
Christians of the neighbourhood took part in the 
funeral. At the same time a poor old Roman Catholic 
woman, a Chinese, was burnt to death ; thus Ping Yin 
can claim the first European and the first Chinese 
martyr to suffer at the hands of the Boxers. These 
two witness to the essential unity of the Church, even 
though at times difference of race and the diversity 
of thought may seem to separate us. Here then is 
holy ground for a hospital, and indeed when the St. 
Stephen's Memorial Church was finished, the medical 
mission which had formerly occupied a mud hut, was 
able to move into the old church. Now it is well 


housed in an admirable building planned by and built 
under the personal direction of Dr. Margaret Phillips, 
and its timely help is gratefully welcomed by the 
people of Ping Yin. They are miserably poor, for 
much of their prosperity left them when the turbulent 
Yellow River chose out for itself a new channel, and 
left the town to be subject to continual floodings from 
the mountain streams. Working out from these large 
and well-established hospitals there are various smaller 
dispensaries and much itinerating medical work which 
it is difficult to describe in detail. With strong centres 
adequately staffed much more might be done, but the 
Home organization is often obliged to discourage 
extension through lack of money. 

To turn to Colonial work, a medical mission has 
been started on the smaller islands lying between 
Vancouver and the mainland of British Columbia, by 
the Rev. J. Antle, formerly an S.P.G. missionary, and 
a hospital ship, the "Columbia," can ply between the 
islands and pick up the patients in need of hospital 
treatment, and so take them to one or other of the 
three hospitals. The "loggers" are subject to many 
accidents and to terrible temptations to drink, so that 
wounds and illness are very prevalent, and until this 
work was started there was no possibility of medical 
attendance for these 3000 scattered people. 

Criticism is a weapon easily used, but it would be 
difficult to find fault with the expenses and upkeep of 
a missionary hospital. The late Dr. Hearn of Hazari- 
bagh, North India, published the details of such ex- 
penditure a few years ago, and it was found that the 


food for one day for thirteen persons cost is. 6|d., 
with 2^d. extra for fuel. When a new patient comes 
to the hospital in Hazaribagh he is supplied with a 
set of four cooking vessels, an earthen pot or harrhia 
in which rice is boiled, a drinking vessel or chakka, a 
dabri or plate, and a vessel for holding charcoal called 
a patila. Thus the support of a patient, exclusive of 
medicine, comes to about £$ 10s. a year, a sum that 
can hardly be called excessive. In Corea the salary 
allowed to each European worker is only £80 a year, 
and yet we hear of them discussing economy and re- 
trenchment with the greatest anxiety. It ought not 
to be so, men and means should be forthcoming ; but 
we need the spirit of the good Samaritan if the work 
is to be placed on a surer footing, a spirit which not 
only generously gives money for immediate need but 
which is also ready to take future responsibility and 
to repay gladly any debt incurred in ministering to 
the sick. 



We have tried to show something of the work of a 
great department that is covered by the general term 
of " Missions," and now we would venture to press an 
appeal for support The Inspector-General of Hos- 
pitals in Bengal has estimated that 23,000 dispensaries 
are urgently needed if we would establish one for every 
3000 of the population of Bengal ; and there are, at 
the present time, only 558 government dispensaries. 
This would practically mean a staff of 23,000 doctors, 
and even that would fall far short of the provision in 
England where we have one doctor for every 1400 of 
the population. According to Sir William Moore, 
M.D., in an article in the "Asiatic Quarterly," medi- 
cal relief in India has only reached 5 per cent of the 
people, and as the work is largely limited to the towns 
and centres of population, a vast proportion, 95 per 
cent of the whole, and especially those who live in the 
villages and outlying districts, are not touched. Even 
in Calcutta the Health Officer after careful investigation 
found that " 62 per cent of the persons who died in 
that city received no medical attendance from any kind 
of practitioner, qualified or unqualified, Western or 



Eastern". Yet we have already gone far to make 
these people realize their need, and a grave responsi- 
bility rests upon us if we make no effort to satisfy it. 
"If anyone seeth his brother in need and shutteth up 
his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the 
love of God in him ? " 

Dr. James Macphail of the United Free Church of 
Scotland Missionary Society, writing in " The East and 
The West," from his large experience says : — 

" To the possible extension of this work there seems 
to be almost no limit. The people of India are just 
beginning to feel confidence in Western methods of 
healing, and the work which has been accomplished, 
great as it may be considered by itself, is insignificant 
compared with what remains to be done. Everywhere 
medical missionaries have the same story to tell. The 
demand upon their services is far in excess of their 
ability to supply, and fresh extensions of their work 
are being continually forced upon them. We prayed 
that doors might be opened — now the people are 
praying us to enter the doors that stand open to re- 
ceive us, and we are held back by the want of means." 

Not long since a leading article in " The Times " 
pressed for the establishment of a female branch of the 
Indian medical service in commemoration of the visit 
of the King and Queen to India. The writer did not 
hesitate to describe the appalling waste of life among 
the women and children, and this naturally means a 
serious weakening of the health of the general com- 
munity. Lady Dufferin's fund has done much to 
relieve suffering, but as the correspondence in " The 




Times " pointed out, the customs of purdah and caste 
are not observed with sufficient care in the hospitals 
connected with the fund, so they are not so widely 
used as they might be nor by the caste they might 
otherwise reach. The missionary hospitals are very 
careful to observe the customs of caste and race. 
And the missionaries have done what they could to 
meet this enormous need of help, and of the four 
hundred women doctors in India two hundred are 
missionary workers. Miss Ruth Pitt in a letter on 
the same subject says that " Medical missions are not " 
only "a good thing" as we lightly say in England, 
they are " absolutely essential," but, alas, she has to 
add that " they are totally insufficient " ; the reproach 
of their insufficiency rests upon us at home. 

We need then on the authority of those responsible 
for the health of India an immense increase of all 
forms of medical assistance ; even if we are not able 
to extend we can at least consolidate. We can work 
for strong centres, no longer leaving one doctor single- 
handed in a district as large as our own Eastern 
counties but containing a far larger population, as in 
the case of Dr. Henry Fowler of the London Mission- 
ary Society. We must no longer risk the closing of 
a hospital on account of the urgent necessity of holi- 
days for an overworked and insufficient staff; but 
such a staff can only be made adequate by adequate 
help from home. 

The same cry comes to us from China, there is the 
same insufficiency in Africa, even our own people in 
the new lands, up country, in the prairie, or in the bush 


are deprived of the medical comforts that they have 
been brought up to depend upon in times of sick- 

Mr. J. R. Mott, one of the most inspiring leaders in 
the present missionary movement, who has travelled 
in nearly every country with eyes made keen by 
enthusiasm, writes : " In my judgment well-con- 
ducted medical missions were never more needed than 
they will be during the next ten years in countries 
like the Turkish Empire, the Chinese Empire, and 
Africa. They constitute one of the mightiest and most 
persuasive of Christian apologetics. In the particular 
fields which I have mentioned they will do more than 
any other agency to multiply points of contact with 
the most difficult classes to be reached by the Christian 
propaganda. In this time of strained relations between 
races and nations, medical missions, dominated by the 
true Christian spirit, will render an indispensable ser- 
vice as a mediator." 

We can take the evidence of the late Mrs. Isabella 
Bishop, who wrote : " I have travelled for more than 
seven years in Asia as a traveller entirely unconnected 
with missions, except by sympathy and interest. As 
a traveller I desire to bear the very strongest testi- 
mony that can be borne to the blessing of medical 
missions wherever they can be carried on as they 
ought to be. On the Western Frontier of China I 
should say that a single medical missionary might do 
more than twenty evangelistic missionaries at the 
present time." 

Again, apart from the evidence of missionary en- 


thusiasts or of travellers, we can turn without hesitation 
to the testimony of statesmen. 

When the operating theatre was added to the 
S.P.G. hospital in Peking, it was chiefly through the 
help and instrumentality of Sir Ernest Satow and 
Sir Robert Hart, two of the greatest administrators 
that China has ever known. 

Then to the support and encouragement of travellers 
and of statesmen we may add the appeal on behalf of 
medical missions which was signed by two hundred 
and fifty doctors in the diocese of Oxford ; it was 
made on the following grounds : — 

1. Because such work is commended to us on the 
highest authority — the example of our Lord Himself, 
the "Good Physician" who went about preaching and 
healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of 
disease among the people. 

2. Because the Church has the example of her 
Glorified Head and the authority of Holy Scripture, 
for using the healing of the sick as one means through 
which the revelation of God's love may be brought 
home to mankind. Therefore medical missions should 
be regarded as an integral and co-ordinate part of the 
mission work of the Christian Church. 

3. Because medical missions relieve an unspeakable 
amount of human suffering due to the ignorance and 
quackery of native doctors. 

4. Because in the East it is only through qualified 
lady doctors that it is possible to do anything to heal 
the diseases of women in the Zenanas. 

5. Because of the missionaries themselves, whose 



labours are often crippled and their lives shortened 
by want of medical aid within a practicable distance, 
which medical missionaries can supply. 

6. Because the history of medical missions is their 
own best justification. 

Indeed the history of medical missionaries is their 
justification, for their history takes us straight to the 
feet of our Lord and Master. He has told us to " Do 
this in remembrance of Me," and it is not only of the 
Sacrament which gives us the enabling power but of 
every action in His life upon earth. He has shown us 
the Way, it is for us to follow. And the "healing of 
the nations " that we bring in His name must be the 
entire healing of the whole man. The history of 
Christian medical work proves to us that those who 
call themselves Christians have not been unmindful of 
the body, but we can never be unmindful of the soul. 
There is a legend of St. Francis which remains true as 
a type and figure of the work of medical missions. 
Out of love to God St. Francis went to visit a leper 
" so impatient, so unbearable, so perverse," that none 
could approach him. But St. Francis " coming close 
to him, saluted him saying, 'God give thee peace, 
my brother most dear,' but the leper only turned on 
his bed to pour out his anguish of soul against God 
and against himself. Then said St Francis: 'My 
son, I will myself do this service, seeing thou art not 
content with the others '. ' I am willing,' quoth the 
sick man, 'but what canst thou do more than the 
others.' Replied St. Francis : ' whatsoever thou dost 
ask, that will I do '. Quoth the leper : ' I wish that 


thou wash me all over ; for I stink so vilely I cannot 
abide myself. Thereupon St. Francis forthwith let 
boil water and with many sweet-smelling herbs ; then 
stripped him and began to wash him with his own 
hands, and it came to pass by a Divine miracle 
wherever St Francis touched him with his holy hands 
the leprosy departed, and the flesh remained perfectly 
whole. And as the flesh began to heal even so began 
the soul to be healed also. . . . And being every whit 
made whole both in body and soul he humbly con- 
fessed his sin." 

It is for this double healing that our appeal on be- 
half of Medical Missions is made, the Divine miracle 
of the healing of the soul that is even greater than the 
conquest of leprosy or of any other disease. " I dressed 
him and God healed," so spoke the good old Ambroise 
Pare ; and the medical missionary of to-day tends the 
sick and the diseased, and God heals them still, but 
not only in the body, for His power rests upon the soul 
also, until the man is every whit whole, cleansed within 
and without. We, in England, can sometimes hardly 
realize the full meaning of putting on "the new man," 
but when we see the old dominion of fear, of ignorance, 
and of despair retreating ; when we see the growth of 
confidence, of pity, and of knowledge increasing, we 
cannot but own that it is the result of a new life and 
of a new power, and that nations are actually being 
made new in Christ. 

There is no method of imparting this Divine truth 
so simple and so direct as that of healing the sick, for 
it is the Christ life lived among men, it is the Creed 


in action. Quite lately a local lawyer in Palestine 
when watching the crowds of out-patients at a C.M.S. 
hospital, said : " That is the work that sinks into their 
hearts, and makes them understand the reality of true 
Christianity ". We, in England, who with Sir Thomas 
Browne "dare without usurpation to assume the 
honourable stile of a Christian," have to show the 
reality of our profession by extending to others those 
benefits which we are too much inclined to appropriate 
to ourselves ; and by the witness of our love and self- 
sacrifice to set forward the kingdom and the knowledge 
of the Lord. 


A great impetus has been given to Medical Mission work 
in connexion with the S.P.G. by the formation of the 
Medical Missions Department with its own Secretary and 
Committee, largely composed of medical men and women, 
and its own Special Fund, which is kept quite distinct from 
the General Fund of the Society. A women's Medical 
Mission Guild, which had been formed by Mrs. Mosse, 
wife of the Rector of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, in 1905, 
was the means of stirring up enthusiasm for Medical Mission 
work among its members, and a desire to see the work 
greatly extended. This desire found expression in a re- 
solution passed at the first S.P.G. Summer School, which 
was held at Lowestoft in 1907. Inquiries were made from 
the Bishops abroad, which elicited the fact that there was 
great need for an extension of Medical Mission work in their 
dioceses. As a result the Department was formed by a 
resolution of the Standing Committee of the Society passed 
in the autumn of 1908, the women's Medical Mission Guild 
becoming the " Special Needs Section ". 

At the end of 1911, the Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel had thirty-two fully qualified doctors in the 
Mission Field, eight men and twenty-four women, as well 
as fifteen qualified native assistants working under their 
supervision. Fifteen British nurses, together with a large 
number of native nurses and European and native evangel- 
ists, were working in the missionary hospitals and dis- 



In India, in the diocese of Lahore, the S.P.G. helps to 
support St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi, with its daughter 
hospitals at Karnal and Rewari. The staff of six doctors, 
four English nurses and two hospital evangelists, besides 
two native nurses, compounders and Biblewomen, is large, but 
not too large for the important work that is carried on in 
these places and the surrounding districts. The number of 
out-patients who attended during 191 1 was 38,578, while 
the in-patients numbered 1487. 

At Rawal Pindi, in the same diocese, the Society is re- 
sponsible for the support of a small hospital, which accom- 
modates twelve in-patients, under the charge of a fully 
qualified European doctor, with the assistance of a European 
matron, some itinerating work in the villages also being 

At Cawnpore, in the diocese of Lucknow, St. Catherine's 
hospital was built by the Society in 1898 ; the work has gone 
on increasing, and Cawnpore is now one of the largest medical 
stations. It has a staff of three English women doctors, 
one of whom does itinerating work in the surrounding vil- 
lages, two English nurses, and several native nurses. There 
were over 19,000 attendances at the dispensary in 191 1, 
while 662 were taken into the hospital. 

In the diocese of Chota Nagpur, at Murhic, the centre of 
a large district where two bazaars are held weekly, excellent 
work is being done by a staff of two priest- doctors, assisted 
by an English nurse. The hospital contains eight wards 
with two or three beds in each, where 169 in-patients were 
treated in 191 1. At the dispensary, 5348 out-patients 
attended and itinerating work was done in the villages. 

Dispensary work is carried on at Itki in the same diocese 
under a fully qualified European doctor with the help of a 
native surgeon. During 191 1 there were 3646 out-patients. 



sr. luke's hospital, nazarkth 


The Society also helps to support the medical work which 
is carried on at Ranch', Hazaribagh and Chitarpur in this 
diocese, each showing about 20,000 attendances. 

In South India very good work is being done at St. 
Luke's Hospital, Nazareth, in the diocese of Tinnevelly 
under the charge of an English doctor, where 18,195 out- 
patients were seen in the dispensary and 202 patients 
treated in the hospital during the past year. The doctor 
also visits in the surrounding villages and supervises the 
medical work carried on at St. Antony's dispensary in the 
large village of Chrislianagram, where the majority of the 
inhabitants are Mohammedans. The medical work is al- 
most the only means of getting into touch with the women 
and over 7000 patients were seen during the year. At St. 
Raphael's dispensary at Sawyerpuram, which is supervised 
by the same doctor with the assistance of a fully qualified 
native surgeon, 8000 out-patients were seen and there were 
39 in-patients. 

At Ramnad, in the same diocese, a woman doctor was 
sent out by the Society to take charge of the dispensary in 
1 910. Since then the medical work has increased so much 
that a hospital has been begun and the first block was 
opened a few months ago. But the work is much hindered 
for want of funds, as the number of in-patients cannot be 
increased until there is more accommodation. Itinerating 
work is being done in the surrounding villages and 13,076 
out-patients attended the dispensary in 191 2. 

At Tuticorin, in the same diocese, a priest-doctor is doing 
itinerating work, the S.P.G. being responsible for his salary. 

In North China, the Society with the help of the North 
China Mission Association, supports the Church of England 
Hospital at Peking, where an English doctor, with the help 
of a fully qualified Chinese assistant, and two English 


nurses, is doing very good work, though the revolution 
somewhat interfered with it. At one time it was feared 
that the hospital would have to be closed, but happily this 
was not necessary. The number of in-patients was small, as 
the women's ward was only open during part of the year, 
owing to the illness of the nurse who was single-handed, 
only 137 in-patients being received, though the attendance 
of out-patients was over 13,000. 

In the diocese of Shantung, medical work was begun six 
years ago in a small mud hut at Ping Yin, but now there is 
a fine stone hospital built on rising ground above the city, 
dedicated to the memory of St. Agatha, and containing 
three wards opening on to a wide verandah with accommo- 
dation for twenty-eight patients. In the compound are the 
doctor's house and the dispensary. The staff consists of an 
English doctor and nurse with three Chinese nurse-proba- 
tioners. A second doctor is urgently needed to carry on 
the work. Branch dispensaries have been established in 
four of the neighbouring villages. During 191 2 the 
number of out-patients seen at the dispensary was 7752, 
while there were 124 in-patients. 

At Yen Chow Fu, in the same diocese, where many 
thousands of Chinese pilgrims resort annually to visit the 
shrine of Confucius, a hospital is being built. A doctor 
has already been sent out to take charge of the work, and 
until the hospital is ready is doing dispensary and itinerat- 
ing work. 

In Corea, the S.P.G. helps to support St. Luke's Hospital 
at Chemulpo, where an English doctor is in charge, assisted 
by his wife, who is a trained nurse, with another nurse and 
dispenser. Some Corean boys have been trained to help 
in the wards, where there is accommodation for thirty-six 
patients. The numbers treated in the hospital during the 


year were 305, while over 5000 out-patients were seen at 
the dispensary. 

At Ay In Hospital, Chin Chun, a village of two or three 
hundred houses, a doctor and an evangelist are doing very 
good work amongst patients who come from villages often 
over forty miles away. In the hospital there are no beds, 
as the patients sleep on the hot floor in wadded quilts, the 
hospital being made as much as possible like a native 
house. During 191 2, 11,105 patients attended the dis- 
pensary, and there were 133 in-patients. The evangelist 
visits the patients after they have been seen at the 
hospital in order to impress upon them what they have 
heard of the Gospel. 

At Paik Chun, a small place on the coast, medical work 
has just been begun by a woman doctor who went out in 
1910 to help in the work at Chemulpo. It is hoped that a 
nurse may be sent out to help her within the next few 

In the diocese of Labuan and Sarawak, Borneo, there 
is a hospital at Banting in the jungle, where an English 
doctor and nurse are in charge. The hospital, which 
is built of ironwood, tarred outside and whitewashed in- 
side, contains three rooms with a verandah in front, very 
simply furnished, as the patients sleep on the floor and 
bring their own mats. The work has so much increased 
that the hospital needs enlarging and a bungalow is to be 
built for the use of the nurse and a teacher. The medical 
work has been invaluable in breaking down heathen super- 
stitions and the power of the witch doctors. 

At Malacca, in the diocese of Singapore, the S.P.G. helps 
to support the medical work which has been started 
amongst women. An old Dutch house has been adapted 
for use as a dispensary and hospital. Two women doctors 


are working there with one English and three native assist- 
ants. The attendances in 1912 numbered 6752. 

In South Africa, St. Barnabas' Hospital, at Mkngana in 
West Pondoland, in the diocese of St. John's, Kaffraria, is 
assisted by the S.P.G. The work is increasing and a further 
addition has been made to the hospital owing to the 
demand for more room for in-patients, twenty-nine of whom 
were treated during the year, while over 1300 out-patients 
were seen in the dispensary. 

The S.P.G. also gives a grant towards the medical work 
at St. Lucy's Hospital, Tsolo, where the wards are kept well 
filled by patients of all classes, the in-patients numbering 
167 and the out-patients 4707. 




Africa, 24, 26, 30, 41, 51, 66, 85, 

97. 122. 
Allen, Mrs. Dexter, 70, 75, 96. 
Amatongo, 5. 
American Board, 85, 8g. 

— Presbyterians, 89. 
Amulets, 11. 
Antle, Rev. J., 107. 
Aspland, Dr., 11, 79-84, 87, 88. 

Banda, 28, 66. 

Beard, Rev. W. L., 85. 

Bearder, Miss, 50. 

Bishop, Mrs., 7, 87, 112. 

Blair, Mrs., 28. 

Bombay Health Report, 85. 

Borneo, 66, 70, g6, 121. 

— witch doctor, 9. 
Boxer rising, 106. 
British Columbia, 107. 
Browning, Mrs. Barrett, 42. 
Buddhists, 32, 36. 

Callaway, Bishop, 97. 

Cawnpore, 26, 27, gi, 118. 

Champneys, Sir F., 95. 

Charms, 7, 10, n, 12. 

Chemulpo, 67, 92, 104. 

China, n, 14, 18-23, 29, 35, 36, 41, 
50, 67, 7g-84, 88, 106, 107, 

Chin Chun, 52. 

Chinese Medical Missionary As- 
sociation, 93. 

— medicines, 22. 
Chitarpur, 48. 
Cholera, 75. 

— mother, 7. 
Chota Nagpur, 6, n, 74, 107, 118. 

( I2 3) 

Church of England Zenana Mis- 
sionary Society, 94. 
— Missionary Society, 75, 88, 94. 
Codrington, General, 45. 
Combley, Nurse, 76. 
Cooper, Professor, ig. 
Cooper, Sir W., 104. 
Copleston, Bishop R. S., 6. 
Corea, 52, 67, go, g2, 104, 120. 
Corfe, Bishop, 104. 
Cowley Fathers, 98. 
Cruickshank, Dr. Mary, 51. 

Dawson, Dr., 91. 

Death-rates, 34, .85, iog. 

Delhi, 12, 39, 54, 78, gg, 118. 

Demons, 6, 14. 

Dogura, 76. 

Dufferin's (Lady) Fund, no. 

Edwards, Dr. Wynne, 77, 78. 

Fakirs, 12. 

Famine, 73. 

Feng-Shui, 7. 

Fishe, Dr. Marcia, 100. 

Fowler, Dr. Henry, in. 

Girls' Friendly Society, 


Hakim, ii. 

Harding, Dr. Annie, 100. 
Hart, Sir Robert, 28, 113. 
Harvard University Medical 

School, 89. 
Hayes, Dr. Marie, 52, 70. 
Hazaribagh, n, 4g, 74, 107, ng. 
Hearn, Dr., 107. 



Hindus, u, 35, 37, 40, 56, 79, 

Hsi Liang, Viceroy, 83. 
Human sacrifice, 5. 

Ikdia, 12, 13, 24-28, 30, 34, 36, 38, 
39> 47. 49, 52. 54. 56, 60, 70, 
73, 75. 77. 85, 91, 99-104, 107, 
109, 118. 

Insanity, 35. 

Itinerating, 60. 

Jackson, Dr. A. F., 83. 
Japanese Red Cross Society, 104. 
Jercherla, 56. 

Kalasapad, 75. 

Karens, 93. 

Karnal, 13, 60, 92, 100, 118. 

Kennedy, Dr., 47. 

Kingsley, Charles, 72. 

" Lancet," The, 33. 
Landis, Dr., 105. 
Laws, Dr., 52, 105. 
Lepers, 34, 70. 
Livingstone, Dr., 94. 
London Missionary Society, 36, 
89, in. 

— School of Tropical Medicine, 


MacMurtrie, Dr., 51, 98. 
Macphail, Dr. J., xio. 
Malacca, 55, 121. 
Marriage, 37. 

Marval, Dr. Alice, 54, 77, 104. 
May, Miss, 60. 
McDougall, Dr., 96. 
Medical Missionary Association of 
London, 89. 

— Mission Guild, 117. 

— training, 87. 
Medicine men, 8, 12, 40. 
Mencius, 43. 
Mohammedans, 11, 32, 36, 43, 49, 

56, 85. 
Moore, Sir W., 109. 
Mosse, Mrs., 117. 
Mott, J. R., 112. 
Moule, Archdeacon, 18. 

Miiller, Dr., 12, 78. 
Murhu, 26, 47, 118. 
Murree Ali, evil goddess, 7. 
Mysore, state of, 41. 

Nat worship, 6. 
Nazareth, 27, ng. 
New Guinea, 76. 
Ngcira, 8, 10. 
Nurses, training of, 90. 

Pare, Ambroise, 23, 77. 
Parennin, Fr., 33. 
Peking, 11, 29. 
Pennell, Dr., 12, 38. 
Phillips, Dr., 14, 20, 29, 107. 
Ping Yin, 14, 20, 50. 
Pitt, Miss Ruth, in. 
Plague, 77-85. 
Pondoland, 51. 
Poole, Miss, 30. 

Ramamurthi, K., 37. 
Ramnad, 12, 119. 
Ranchi, 49. 
Rewari, 52, 70, 118. 
Rhodes, Fr. Bernard, 22. 
Root, Dr. Pauline, 37. 

St. Francis, 114. 
Satow, Sir Ernest, 113. 
Scott, Dr. A., 101. 
Severance Hospital Medical Col- 
lege, 90. 
Shanghai Conference, 1890, 35. 
Shen-nung, Emperor, 18. 
Siamese, 20. 
Sirivamosa, Prince, 43. 
Smelling out, 8. 
Sorcerers, 8. 
Spirit houses, 5. 
Spirits, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13. 
Staley, Dr. Mildred, 13, 24, 39, 


Stevenson, Dr. Mabel, 57, 60. 

Strachan, Dr. (Bishop of Ran- 
goon), 93. 

Tsolo, 26, 51, 98. 

Unkulunkulu, 5. 



United Free Church of Scotland, 

83, no. 
Universities Mission to Central 

Africa, 94. 

Vaccination, 15. 
Walden, Miss E. , 78, 104. 

Wantage Sisters, 98. 
Wells, Dr. Russel, 44. 
Weston, Mrs., 27, 29. 
Widowhood, 37. 
Winter, Mrs., 99. 
Witchcraft, 4. 
Witch doctors, 8, 9, 10. 
Wu, Dr., 81. 

Aberdeen: the university press 


MEDICAL MISSIONS, S.P.G. 52 pp. Illustrated. 
2d., post free 3d. 

By the Rev. Dr. Anderson Robertson. 16 pp. 
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